It’s February, the month also known for hearts, cupid’s arrow, and all things LOVE! Our local stores will be filled with cards that express affection, while there will be plenty of online orders for flower deliveries. And though many of us won’t say such, most people would like to be shown some type of affirmation during this season of love!
As educators, love is not a word that we are formally “trained” to use, but it is one that we must daily activate in order to prepare students to be successful. We take classes in reading, test and measurements, and classroom management, all of which are absolutely necessary to ensure learning. If I were queen of education, however, we would also have a course in love. This class would teach about the great impact of having true concern for others, the positive effect of demonstrating compassion, and the reciprocal benefits of spreading positive energy to those around you. It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher in the 3rd grade, a biology instructor in high school, or an assistant dean at a community college, love is like that “special” ingredient that chefs never really tell you about that makes the dish the most delectable you’ve ever had!
The world, at times, is really dark, unforgiving, and seemingly filled with negativity. I want to take the opportunity to encourage, not only educators, but everyone to start intentionally doing things WITH LOVE! One of the greatest activist of all times, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, noted,” Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I’m sure you are wondering why this educator is speaking of love stuff instead of teaching strategies. Well, I must confess that it is my belief that educators are some of the individuals that can have the greatest impact on our world today and tomorrow! And since our world needs more light, educators must step up to the plate to deliver!
There is a well known saying that students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. John Maxwell said it more generally, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We all have many differences, but we have even more similarities. One of the greatest similarities that we have as human beings is the need to be loved, the need to know that someone in the universe cares about us… So, how do we start to show love to our students, our neighbors, or even strangers? We begin with a big smile and simple, “Hello!”