For a lot of our students our classrooms provide stability, consistency, and a safe place. For some of our students, our classrooms can be the only place they get that. During off periods or lunch breaks we remain in our classrooms for students who need space or a snack. We provide advice and guidance for topics beyond our content. We do more than just instruct them our TEKs, but help them face life challenges. Is this necessary for students to make instructional gains? Maybe this is just necessary in certain schools, where more students need all around support.
When it comes down to it though, schools do not focus on anything but academics. There are no PDs on how to be a mentor. TEI does not have a section for bringing food to students or staying late to help with the SATs. Yet, when I look at the strongest teachers in my school, many of them do these things and build similar relationships with their students. These teachers attend student sporting events, bring them food, remember their birthdays, and serve as a supportive member in their lives. I know many teachers that disagree with this as well. Question how these actions help the student or lead to academic growth. Honestly, sometimes they don't, but what is the point of a teacher. Is it to be 100% focused on academics and test scores? Or is there a place for the teacher to teach life lessons and character. To be a positive role model. To help push these students to a successful life path. If you haven't picked up, I am obviously a teacher that believes in supporting all students needs and being there for them. I question everyday though if this makes a difference or if it matters. I even wonder if it is right.