Teachers play a critical role in the development of young people. No one gets anywhere without a teacher. Our first teachers – parents, grandparents, guardians, and foster parents – play an important part. Many children also have a pre-school/church teacher or a nanny/babysitter who plays a part in their development. Later, elementary, middle, and high school teachers help shape their knowledge base, belief systems, and character traits.
All teachers influence who a young person becomes. By interacting with these teachers throughout life, youth develop understanding, beliefs, and character — ways of knowing and doing — ways of being who they are.
Are you a teacher? If you are a parent, grandparent, guardian, foster parent, nanny, coach, pastor, or school educator, you are a teacher. How well do you teach? Are your messages helping the young people gain knowledge, skills, beliefs, and character to develop into stronger and better people?
We all become who we are as a result of the messages teachers Encourage, Listen, and Love. Teachers are the ones who T.E.L.L. young people throughout childhood and into adulthood.
Today, see your interactions with youth in a new way, as T.E.L.L.ing. Teach, Encourage, Listen, and Love an empowering message. Any issue, T.E.L.L. Any victory, T.E.L.L. Any interaction, T.E.L.L.
- When you teach, your message allows the youth to discover new knowledge and/or skills.
- When you encourage, your message gives the support needed to step in a better direction – you give the younger person courage to know and try new ideas.
- When you listen, you understand them before you ask them to understand you.
- When you love your words and actions are compassionate and caring. Your message says, ‘I love you.’
Today, see your interactions as opportunities to T.E.L.L. the younger person in your life. Ask, “How am I teaching, encouraging, listening, and loving this younger person?” One thought, one action at a time. If you want a child to be better, show and tell them better.
If not you, then who? Teachers, you play a critical role in who the child becomes.
When faced with adversity or affliction, find teachers who encourage, listen, and love you. By interacting with them, you will more likely hear a better way to walk. You will more likely receive better guidance and support.
What the teacher speaks may not be exactly what you want to hear or do. It may cause extra effort on your part. It may not make perfect sense in the moment. Cooperate anyway.
By cooperating with your teacher, you are opening up the possibility to outshine your current self.
You cannot resolve adversity or affliction with the same thinking that got you there. You need new ideas. You need support and guidance. Seek out the teachers who T.E.L.L. you.
As you go about your day, think about who you trust in adverse or afflicting circumstances. Are these teachers ones you believe encourage, listen, and love you? Are these teachers ones who allow you to outshine your current self?
If your answer is “I don’t have such teachers in my life,” then think again. These teachers are right around the corner. Pause and pray. You must seek in order to find.
I believe the first time I heard this quote When the student is ready, the teacher will appear, I was listening to an interview with Wayne Dyer – one of the great teachers of life. I have thought of these words often since hearing the phrase, especially in moments I desire my life story to change. That is, in those moments where I feel there is a disconnect between my current situation and what I desire. There have also been times when I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the teachers who have appeared. Now I try to always be a student who is ready.
Teachers have the potential to impact your life story to tell. It is important this person be a good teacher, someone who has the experience to know better and is able to assess and give you advice. Consciously and wisely choose your teachers. In the previous post (110), you were encouraged to seek and identify good teachers, individuals who you believe help you mature in a positive direction. Have you thought about whose advice you follow? Have you thought about who can lead you in positive directions? Have you thought about how your interactions with this person allow the learning to occur? (Post 109)
As important as it is to find good teachers, the first part of this quote is key: when the student is ready. Ultimately, learning is what you do as a student. The teacher may be able to help your growth happen faster. A teacher can light the way and ease the way, but you as the learner have to be curious enough to walk the path. You have to be the student willing to learn.
How open are you to learning new ideas? Do you have a mindset of curiosity? Do you walk the path of a learner intentionally?
If you’ve ever experienced trying to be a teacher of a resistant student, you may understand how important it is for the student to be willing. Have you ever tried to help someone who is interacting with a closed mind, not willing to consider new ideas? Bottom line: The student who is not curious to hear new ideas will not learn. It does not matter how good the teacher is when the student is not ready and willing to learn.
How willing are you to be a learner? Are you hoping you learn what you need in life? Or do you actively seek opportunities to learn and know better? Are you willing to be a student when you interact with others?
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. How about we all try to be students today? Every interaction, be a student and try to learn something new. What teachers appear?
The Show & T.E.L.L. Blog is currently focused on creating a life story to tell. If you would like to skim through the previous posts, the current series started in Post #102. However, in the last post (#109), I concluded that instead of thinking about accomplishments or whatever you feel creates your story, think about your interactions. Every interaction involves telling a story.
We all have moments of frustration, discouragement, disappointment, and failure. We also have moments where we do not know what to do. These are moments where our current thinking limits our thoughts and actions. In these moments, we want our story to change, to get better.
When you want the story to change, to get better, start by looking to individuals who Teach, Encourage, Listen, Love you better. Who tells me better? Today, I can’t help but think of the teachers in my life who tell me better.
I am forever grateful for the teachers in my life. These are the ones I know I can go to for good advice. They have life experiences and they have a genuine desire to open minds to possibilities. They have ideas I may not realize on my own in the moment. Their ideas are for my benefit.
Some of the teachers I know personally, others I have found on the Internet, in a book, from a course I bought or attended, as well as now some of my teachers I follow on Snap Chat or YouTube.
Who are your teachers? Who will you follow when you need to do and feel better? Who will you reach out to when you don’t know how to get your needs met with your current understanding? Who do you think of when you need someone with more experience, someone who knows better? Who are your good teachers in life? Whose advice are you following?
It is important to know whose teachings you willingly follow, because whatever they teach you influences your story, for better or worse. Who are you following? Who is leading you?
We should always be looking for good teachers. Can you list at least two individuals who teach you better about life in general? Who is your teacher in the area of health and fitness? Who is your teacher in the area of finances? Relationships? Who is your teacher in terms of your work?
Who are your teachers? Whose advice are you allowing to influence your story?
Schools play a critical role in teaching, encouraging, listening, and loving children. In one elementary school I visit, a student creed is cited at the end of every morning announcement. The creed focuses on students doing their best to learn and be respectful each and every day. What a great message to teach and encourage!
I observed one teacher require her students to say the creed with the administrator over the loud speaker. She even had students raise their hand, like a vow, as she along with the students recited the words.
Afterward, she asked one or two students to share how they will live by this creed today. One student said “I will make sure I listen in math.” Another, “I will keep my hands off Angel’s desk.” After a few more comments, the teacher finished this conversation by sharing some of the plans for the day. She said something along the lines of, “Good ideas. I’m glad Rakel mentioned listening in math because we are learning about fractions, which can be a little hard so it is important for you to listen and give your best effort. Also, in ELA we will be reviewing suffixes and prefixes. So far I believe you all have done really well giving your best effort. Let’s keep at it. OK, are we ready to start?”
What a great example of getting positive ideas into the students’ minds – teaching and encouraging them to learn that day. I asked this teacher if she had this conversation every day. She responded that she did in the beginning of the year. For the first few weeks she did it every day. Now she does it most days, especially when she feels they need a reminder. “It’s just a good way to get all of us focused on what we need to do while we’re here today, and me too! I think it really helps get the day started.”
It isn’t the creed alone that is effective here. It is the teacher role modeling and interacting with students about what the words mean. It is about her giving time to make the creed meaningful. She is t.e.l.l.ing them how to act out the creed.
In any interaction, it isn’t our words alone that help a child. It is giving the time to make sure what we are saying is meaningful to them. Meaningful in a way that makes the child better. Every time we interact, we t.e.l.l. – whether we realize it or not we teach, encourage, listen, and love to some degree – why not do it more intentionally. Why not think seriously about what and how you are t.e.l.l.ing?
Last week, we asked you to make this one of your 2016 resolutions, to t.e.l.l. your child better this year. If you accepted this challenge, please let us know in an email.
Do you need a daily reminder? Would you like a magnet to help you remember? They should be available in the next few months. If you would like one hot off the press, send us a message below or email us. Make sure you include your postal address in the message. We would also appreciate you sharing your thoughts about the Show & TELL blog, especially any questions you would like our Show & T.E.L.L. community to talk about in future posts.
The reminder to t.e.l.l. magnet is just one of the products we are producing in 2016. We’ll keep you posted.
Every day our goal is empower at least one more caregiver to t.e.l.l. a child better. Will you help us spread the word? Have you shared the Show & TELL blog with others? You can email this post to them or post it on your Facebook page.
Have a wonderful weekend. Keep t.e.l.l.ing your children!