I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a student’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a student humanized or de-humanized.
How can we help a child change from undependable to dependable, from a mediocre student to a capable student, from someone who won’t amount to very much to someone who will count for something. The answer is at once both simple and complicated: We treat a child as if he already is what we would like him to become.
Treat a child as though he already is the person he’s capable of becoming.
While parents possess the original key to their offspring’s experience, teachers have a spare key. They, too, can open or close the minds and hearts of children.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.
If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.
Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.
Happiness… is not a destination: it is a manner of traveling. Happiness is not an end in itself. It is a by-product of working, playing, loving and living.
When a child hits a child, we call it aggression. When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility. When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault. When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline.
When children feel understood, their loneliness and hurt diminish. When children are understood, their love for their parent is deepened. A parent’s sympathy serves as emotional first aid for bruised feelings. When we genuinely acknowledge a child’s plight and voice her disappointment, she often gathers the strength to face reality.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.
Misbehavior and punishment are not opposites that cancel each other – on the contrary they breed and reinforce each other.
Only if a child feels right can he think right.
Responsibility is fostered by allowing children a voice and wherever indicated a choice in matters that affect them.
Adolescence can be a time of turmoil and turbulence, of stress and storm. Rebellion against authority and against convention is to be expected and tolerated for the sake of learning and growth.
To be himself, one neeeds to be free from the pressure of evaluative praise
A modern teacher educates children to value their emotions.
Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn’t have anything to do with it.
Parenthood is an endless series of small events, periodic conflicts, and sudden crises which call for a response. The response is not without consequence: it affects personality for better or for worse.
When gentle persuasion [of children] falls on deaf ears, we resort to ridicule and rebuke. Then we return to threats and punishment. This is the modus operandi of a mutual frustration society.
Whenever I hear about a child needing something, I ask myself, ‘Is it what he needs or what he wants?’ It isn’t always easy to distinguish between the two. A child has many real needs which can and should be satisfied. His wants are a bottomless pit. He wants, for example, to sleep with his parents. He needs to be in his own bed. At Christmas he wants every toy advertised on television. He needs only one or two.
Teenagers crave independence. The more self-suf-ficient we make them feel, the less hostile they are toward us.
Wise parents know that fighting a teenager, like fighting a riptide, is inviting doom.
To sense when a teenager needs understanding and when misunderstanding is a difficult and delicate task. The sad truth is that no matter how wise we are, we cannot be right for any length of time in our teenagers’ eyes.
The search for a personal identity is the life task of a teenager.