After I discussed our first playing test of all 12 scales in one of my high school classes, a student of mine came to speak to me a few days later…
“Mr. Divine…I’ve been working hard on the 12 scales and wanted to let you know that it’s possible I might not pass them on this first try.” (I allow multiple retakes). “I didn’t want you to be disappointed in me.”
I felt like my heart was about to break. Here’s an outstanding student doing her best and her worry was that she would disappoint me.
I said, “You not passing your scales would NEVER disappoint me. I only have grades and give playing tests because I want everyone to improve and I know you are going to improve.”
She left class with a smile, came back the next week and aced her 12 scales.
As teachers – our words have tremendous impact! I know we can get caught up in the 5-10% of students who give us a hard time, but most are hard working and want to please.
What message are your words sending to your students?
For an example of how words from my teachers affected me, click HERE.
***James is a Title 1 middle school teacher and author of Forgive: One man’s story of being molested…and God’s redemption in which he shares how important teachers were to his life. He is also available to share to groups of teachers his story and why they are important. Reach him here.