Let's Not Forget about Caring

Article excerpt

As an educator for the last 20 years, there has been one constant attribute that I have noticed in the demeanor of effective teachers--caring.

One September a group of former students who had just entered high school stopped by the junior high to invite me to their soccer match. I told them it would depend on my schedule and I would think about it.

The next day on my drive home after a long day, I approached the exit to the high school and was faced with the decision of whether I was going to the soccer match. Even though I was dead tired, I turned at the exit.

As I approached the field, those students recognized my car and came running to express how happy they were that I came to their match. As the game progressed the students' parents also told me they were happy I was there. What I learned that day was that you never know how the simplest of gestures can affect people. I could have very well ignored the highway exit, but I had to acknowledge that my students cared enough to ask me to be there.

I often express to my students that their co-workers won't care as much about what you know, rather they will want to know you care. To care and be cared for are essential needs for educators, business professionals and students.

L. Peter Johnson, school superintendent of Bretung Township Schools in Kingsford, Mich., also is a proponent of caring. He says, "When one stops to think about it ... we realize that caring is really the easiest of lessons plans. …