While all students will come to feel relaxed, encouraged, motivated, and supported in my classroom, my support will be in the form of respectful, equitable “tough love” where all students will be held to high standards, provided access to open, supportive communications with me, and showed that I care and want to help them; it may take a while for students to believe my actions are driven by respect, care, and love, but I believe in time, and consistency on my part, they will be able to see the truth.
Furthermore, it is my firm belief, that as a society, we have neglected generations of children by preventing them from understanding the concept of boundaries and that they must respect and honor boundaries, both for themselves, and others. Many have no idea what a “boundary” means, how to set one, how to honor one, and how to defend one. As humans, as social beings, we need to respect one another in mutually supportive, caring ways that do not violate the dignity or sanctity of our human condition. As a teacher, I believe it is my sacred duty to make sure students understand and respect boundaries, theirs and others.
“Tough Love” is tough. It requires tremendous energy, dedication, and persistence to apply equitably. For clarity, “tough love” is neither code for, nor acceptance of, derisive, deficit-oriented declarations made by teachers to students. It is only intended for the best interest of a student, or class full of students. If discipline delivered is not from the heart, it is not tough love.
A follow-on post will illustrate examples of “tough love” three different students experienced earlier this week. I’m too exhausted to describe them in this posting. 🙂