For the past couple of days, I have been working on a faculty newsletter tribute to Ed Deavers, an outstanding teacher who died a little over a week ago. As I wrote previously, one of Ed’s former students established a Facebook page for Ed and invited students and former students to share their stories about Ed so they could grieve together.
As I copied many of these messages so I could add them to the tribute, I found one of Ed’s aphorisms particularly poignant. When students were working on plays together and worried about their own performances, Ed told them, “You’re safe; you’re warm; your with friends.” According to another student, Ed sometimes interchanged “family” for “friends.”
If we want students to learn, they must be willing to take chances, and they must learn to work together productively without fighting with each other or establishing factions. A supportive classroom environment is crucial.
What better way to welcome kids into a classroom and teach them to take care of each other than repeatedly teaching them and saying to them, “You’re safe; you’re warm; you’re with friends.”
I wish every student could sit inside a classroom that emphasized this belief!