When teachers recognize the good work that you do, you bond with the teacher.
Hi, my name is Jaydah. I am a freshman at a regional technical high school. I want to talk about school support systems and the importance of teachers that recognize not only the negatives, but the positive things teenagers are doing. It’s important to make teenagers feel confident in the positive things that they are doing, and give them attention for it, so that they don’t seek that attention by doing bad things. It will motivate them to do more good, knowing that someone will be there to cheer them on, which will help them feel more connected to the community.
This matters to me because the pandemic made school very hard, and coming back to school even harder. And this was all happening as I was transitioning from middle school to high school. When we were online, there was really no one to actually check up on you and support you in between classes. It has been even harder coming back to a different environment and being introduced to new expectations. I have been doing my best, but if I’m in a classroom in which the teacher doesn’t recognize my hard work, I don’t feel comfortable or motivated. I feel like my work and dedication to the class are unrecognized and unvalidated. I don’t feel a connection with the teacher or the class. This makes it hard to learn because I don’t want to do an assignment just for a good grade. I want to look forward to doing my best work and to being in an overall comfortable environment.
When teachers recognize the good work that you do[,] you bond with the teacher. It creates a community[,] which is something that was missing during the pandemic, and something we need now more than ever. In classes where my teachers recognize the good work that I do, I feel very confident in continuing to do that good work. I feel comfortable taking risks and asking questions, which helps me to learn. I feel safer in the classroom and like there is a community. For example, my world history teacher this year is very supportive. She’s cheerful and peppy. She recognizes when I do well and makes sure that I recognize it too. One time I finished a quiz early and she pulled me aside to tell me that I got 100%. It was really reassuring and made me more confident in taking tests, and in myself. I enjoy that class and feel safe. Knowing that the teacher cares about me and sees me makes me feel motivated and connected to the community.
I would like all students to feel understood and supported in their working environment so they can also have the chance to do better. Moving forward, we can create ways to normalize checking in on students and recognizing their hard work. It is very important for every student to feel like someone sees them. If they don’t have anyone to talk to at home, at least they can find someone at school. By having someone to talk to at school, school feels more like a community. This bond helps students to feel safe and learn better.
The Safe and Supportive Schools grant gives schools the opportunity to build the kind of teacher and student bond that creates the community that we need. Please increase the funding for the Safe and Supportive Schools program so that students can feel more connected to their community as we are rebuilding from the pandemic. Thank you.