Students experience difficulties in verbalizing their needs and desires within the school premise. Due to varying factors such as competitive environments, students are reluctant to reach and voice out their opinions. They may fear being unheard, insulted or not articulate their thoughts using cohesive language. As a Learning Support Specialist, I learned that when I pay attention, listen and work on meeting the needs of my students first, I consequently help and motivate them to meet my needs as a teacher. My motto is: “Mature people start first.”
One of the minimum expectations for students is being able to understand more than half of the material and complete their assignments without major challenges. Yet, if students were not able to achieve one of these basic requirements, they would naturally feel upset and may express their feelings through wrong behaviors. Generally, misbehavior inside the classroom is a result of unmet needs ranging from being uncomfortable with the choice of group to poorly made lesson plans. Some teachers unknowingly disregard the importance of meeting their students’ needs and it may be held as an ultimatum. As an example, a student would not get his/her teacher’s support unless they show “good” behavior and the meaning of being “good” inside the classroom is rather an on-going debate.
In contrast, when the needs of both the teachers and students are acknowledged and met, a notable shift takes place in the teaching and learning experience. By providing students with all the resources, personality development, opportunities and support that enables them to feel safe and secure, I as a teacher have in return cooperative, loving, compassionate and eager students. They would organically trust me and follow my guidance. It is important to remind ourselves as mature adults to create this space first before overwhelming the youngsters with this responsibility. We have the power to set positive examples.