Dear Teacher, I Want You to Know . . .
As an SEL coach, Amy Isenhart is constantly inspired by all the ways educators positively impact the lives of students each day. In her reflective piece below, Amy writes from the perspective of a student to capture how meaningful this work is to students.
When you welcome me with your warm smile, I feel happy to be at school.
When you practice saying my name the way my family says it, I feel proud to be me
When you ask me about my game or my recital or my good luck charm, I feel connected to you.
When you offer to help me get started, I feel relieved and supported.
When you store extra snacks and warm mittens to share, I feel loved.
When you make sure I have what I need for Mom’s house and Dad’s house, I feel secure.
When you call my home with good news, I feel successful.
When you read stories about families that look like mine, I feel seen.
When you celebrate my effort, I feel motivated.
When you help me start new friendships, I feel hopeful.
When you help me grow my friendships, I feel included.
When you help me fix my friendships, I feel prepared.
When you name my strengths, I feel significant.
When you show me how wonderful it is to be different, I feel joyful.
When you give me choices, I feel engaged.
When you teach me how to move through challenges, I feel confident.
When you give me room to grow from my mistakes, I feel trusted.
When I break our classroom rules and you preserve my dignity, I feel safe.
When I am defiant, and you give me time and space and kindness, I feel grateful.
When I am not my best self and you still see the good in me, I feel worthy.
When I reflect on our time together, I feel inspired to become someone who makes others feel the way you make me feel every day.
Amy Isenhart is an elementary educator and consulting teacher for Center for Responsive Schools.