Trust and Connection
I met Cindy at a craft fair where she stopped to chat with me about Mrs. Kinsey, a high school science teacher who ignored Cindy’s reputation and inspired her to rise. It was evident that Cindy had achieved success without losing her spunk.
I was an intelligent kid, but academics did not interest me. I was too busy keeping up with my social scene to keep up with my classwork. There were times when I skipped class to hang out with friends. So, when I was assigned to be Mrs. Kinsey’s teacher assistant during sixth period, I was surprised. She was nonchalant on my first day; I had expected a lecture about being responsible and trustworthy. Instead, she gave me a stack of papers to alphabetize. Then she sent me with notes and envelopes to deliver to other teachers. She trusted me to carry out these errands efficiently and return to class. I didn’t want to let her down. For some reason, it became more important to impress Mrs. Kinsey than to impress my friends.
I started to stay after school to clean the boards and straighten the room, but really, I just enjoyed talking with Mrs. Kinsey. She talked to me about music, movies and other things that interested me. She asked about my progress in other classes, and she offered to help. She suggested that I just needed to spend more time studying, and I began to study in her room while she graded and planned. Being Mrs. Kinsey’s assistant was a turning point for me. When someone you admire believes in you, you work hard to justify that belief.
Cindy’s story reminded me that the best way to help a student become trustworthy is to extend trust. When we connect with students as they are but hold a vision for what they can become, we inspire them to rise. When did a teacher help you reach a turning point? Share in the comments below.
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