Do you tell your students you love them?

I do.

A recent thread on a Facebook group has really stuck with me, and I thought I would take some time to reflect and get your thoughts.

Through the years, I have moved around through various positions and grade levels, but in every position one thing remains constant- my love for my students. Whether they were junior high kids or first graders, I developed relationships with them. I cared for them, listened to them, counseled them and in many cases cried with them. On most days, I spend more time with the children in front of me than I do with my own children. I grow to love them.

I teach in an urban setting, with over 95% free lunch. Many of my students do not have stable home lives. Parents in our neighborhood don’t work typical 9-5 jobs. They work when they can, many at night or early in the morning, which leaves some of my students to fend for themselves to get homework done, get ready for school, and get there on time. They try. Bless their little hearts.

When I first started teaching, kids would tell me they loved me. My heart would melt and I would smile and say “thank you.”  I was never sure it was appropriate to express my feelings. I felt guilty about it. Truth is, I do love my students. I am invested in them.  I celebrate their successes, internalize their sadness, and support them in times of need. I worry about them. Now granted, a junior high telling me they loved me was rare, but it did happen.

So now that I am teaching littles, I have changed. Perhaps it is grown wisdom and experience, or simply being a mother now myself. When a student tells me, “I love you” I say it back, because I do- for all of the reasons I mentioned before, and more. It may be the only “I love you” they hear that day. A kindness that needs to be shared and spread. I am happy that they find my classroom a safe place to make such a heartfelt declaration. That makes me feel like I have done my job, and makes my heart happy. Give it a try, it will make your heart happy, too.

Teach-A-Roo

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Comments

  1. says

    I always tell my students I love them! I started out in Kindergarten and then teaching first. The kids just smile and say it. I’m with my kids all day long…of course I love them and they love me. I’m also one of the only people besides their family that they know. They sometimes call me Mommy. I want them to know they feel safe and loved in my room. Glad that other teachers do too!

  2. says

    I think that is a really good question and just like you when I was a younger teacher I didn’t know what to say. Now maybe because I have grown wiser and I don’t care what others really think, I say I love you right back, because I do love my students and they need to hear it too. Great post!

  3. Sham says

    I am new to teaching and I teach Pre-K, The first time a student wrapped his little arms around me and said I love you I was unsure how to respond; now it has become second nature for me to respond I love you too.

  4. Jennifer Spellacy says

    I’m a 2nd year Preschool teacher, and I start and end each day with love. I love my students from the bottom of my heart, and when they say, “Ms. Jen, I love you!” I say it right back. We shouldn’t be afraid of love. We should embrace it every way it comes 😀 Thank you for this wonderful article. It made my day!

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