Lonely Students

Image of a lonely boy outsideLonely, disconnected, withdrawn, solitary—we hear these descriptions in news reports when a student has acted out against others, and we recognize these words in the eyes of students and people everywhere.

But what can we, as educators, do to reach out? How can we identify those students who need that human connection because they exist in a virtual desert of isolation?

A former student of mine shared a blog post by Glennon Doyle Melton that I found very interesting on this subject. Glennon describes a teacher who viewed her job as much more than just teaching math. She was working hard to discover—and uncover—what was really going on behind the sea of faces in her classroom.

I think you’ll find it an inspiring example and motivation to look at your class differently this week. Here's an excerpt where Glennon humorously recounts the time she was receiving math tutoring from her son's teacher, which led to a deeper conversation:

…I stood a little shakily at the chalkboard while Chase’s teacher sat behind me, perched on her desk, using a soothing voice to try to help me understand the “new way we teach long division.”  Luckily for me, I didn’t have to unlearn much because I never really understood the “old way we taught long division.” It took me a solid hour to complete one problem, but l could tell that Chase’s teacher liked me anyway. She used to work with NASA, so obviously we have a whole lot in common.

Afterwards, we sat for a few minutes and talked about teaching children and what a sacred trust and responsibility it is….

Click here to read Glennon's full article.

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