In a blog post about Steve Jobs’ pursuit of excellence, which included a thorough understanding of his customers, Jim Knight writes, “. . . like Jobs, teachers can strive to have a deep understanding of their students’ hopes, fears, and expectations.
To that end, Knight suggests that teachers ask questions of students, and his post provides lists of possible questions based on grade level.
In my experience, people want to be known for who they are, no matter their age. That is true across the generations.
Hospice patients tell me that they want their grandchildren and even generations yet unborn to know who they were as people. Children also want to be known for who they are, for their interests and strengths, and for their overall uniqueness.
Teachers are more likely to make the effort to get to know all of their students and their families, I believe, when they feel known and valued within their school communities.
Creating school cultures in which everyone feels known and appreciated for who they are is therefore a primary responsibility of principals and teacher leaders.