Include Them. Think Less. Love More.

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6 thoughts on “Include Them. Think Less. Love More.”

  1. I find this especially relevant and moving in light of what happened in Florida yesterday. We’re doing important work that absolutely transcends “teaching a language”. I took special care to make every student feel extra-included today. Thanks, Ben.

  2. Thinking about Florida made me write that this morning, Amy. I didn’t mention it in the post because it makes me physically sick to think about it. But thank you for bringing it to our attention. We think we are just language teachers.
    You know what? I now see our profession as so much more than I ever have in the past. Instead of being a kind of marginalized red-headed step sister course, we are now proving to be the only subject in the school where teachers can reach kids on a human level.
    What if the Florida shooter hadn’t have been kicked out of that school? What if he had ONE CLASS where he felt socially and emotionally safe? So right there is the reason I have put 100% of my professional focus on inclusion in WL education for the past 20 years.

  3. We all as teachers should have the students’ emotional well-being at the centre of our jobs, at least while in our classrooms. If they don’t feel they belong, they’ve lost their connection. I have taught a variety of subjects and grade levels over the years and what I’ve come to realize more than anything is that we need to develop a rapport with our students, we need to let them know that we love them. If they feel loved and that we care about them, only then will true learning happen. If they trust that you’re looking out for them, they’ll be able to open themselves up enough to learn.
    The problem is that teachers feel so much pressure to cover the material, to get it all done, and we lose sight of what’s really important. Getting the kids to question, to think critically, to take risks to think outside the box – that happens when they know they are loved and can be trusted to do the right thing and be allowed to fail gracefully, without judgement.
    If it is only via the WL classroom where we can actually do all of this, then so be it. Let our classrooms be the light in the kids’ school lives and their place of belonging.

    1. Yesterday I was crying about taking a leave because I was at a dance recital at school and three seventh grade girls danced a gorgeous dance they’d choreographed themselves to Let it Be. And I looked out at all 950 kids and just thought how much I love being with all that humanity each day. But this helps me Dana. If I think about the leave as spreading the light into more classsrooms. Let it be indeed.

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