Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If She Only Knew Me...

As a continuation of our Ruby Payne training on students from poverty, Laurie O'Neill shared the book If She Only Knew Me at our Faculty Meeting on September 7.  Check out reviews for the book at:

The book follows "Justin," a child living in poverty, through a typical day at school.  It shines a light on the lack of relationships that Justin has with his teachers.  The reader finds themselves questioning, "How much do I not know about my own students?"

What are some helpful hints you could share to make sure the "Justins" of our classes are being successful?  In other words, what advice would you give his teachers?


  1. I felt like I need to remember not to jump to conclusions about a student's behavior....I don't know what they are experiencing at home. I need to work to get to know my students and their "story" before they will trust me enough to let me "into their life."


  2. This story was a touching reminder that all of our students are precious living things that deserve our attention and compassion. It is so important to make time to connect with and learn more about the children we teach. This way we can model meaningful relationships that they can carry with them for a lifetime. Ultimately, these individual connections build trust and understanding which help all learning to boot!

  3. I think it's important for me to tell my students how much I value and believe in them. I should also be a dependable model of genuine kindness and respect. This reminds me of our Convocation speaker- we need to leave our personal business at the door, so that we can do our job with love!

  4. Wow! What a powerful reminder of some of the challenges manyof our kiddos are facing each day. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to impact the lives of these children everyday in our classrooms. May we always remember that every child comes to us with a story. As teachers, there is no question that we will become a part of that story. The only question is whether we will be the villain...or the hero...

  5. Something try to keep in the front of my mind is that I might be the only person "this child" (translation: every child) might see today that has a warm smile and a kind word to say to them. The importance of me taking a deep breath and being intentional with my responses (keeping them honest, but positive and motivating) is so important. I also try to remember that my 3rd graders have only been on this Earth eight short years. They are young! Most are eager to please and truly want to meet my expectations, but others aren't ready to believe in themselves enough to strive for excellence. Regardless, all of of them deserve to be able comfortable enough to trust me to GUIDE them with a caring, loving heart.