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?