Between Teacher and Child

Between Teacher and Child
by Haim Ginott

I have come to a frightening conclusion.

I am the decisive element in the classroom.

It is my personal approach that creates the climate.

It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.

I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.

I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis

Will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized.


When I first stumbled upon this poem-of-sorts a few years ago, it brought tears to my eyes. How many days had I gone into the classroom in a poor mood? How often had my mood rubbed off on everyone around me? As a parent I can see how my approach affects my home and as a coach, my mood can affect how coaching sessions go as well.

Every so often I like to look back on this refrain and reflect again–have I been a tool of inspiration today?

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