Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gallup poll results support Culture of Care

A recent Gallup poll asked participants to call to mind the name of their best teacher. Then they were asked to think of the one word that best described that teacher. What do you suppose was the most common descriptor?


Nice try, but guess again.

The most common word to describe the best teachers was… caring.

Uh oh. Caring is one of those fuzzy, cuddly terms that makes some people – at least guys like me – squirm a bit. I squirm because caring is a word that lays a claim on me. A person can be brilliant, demanding or passionate about their work; but none of those words requires attentiveness to the needs, hopes, and fears of the people around me. But caring lays claim to my time, energy, and heart. And as any teacher – or parent – worth her salt can tell you, caring looks a little different for each recipient.

For the eager, caring looks like a challenge.
For the lazy, a prod.
For the procrastinator, a deadline.
For the panicked, an extension.
For the discouraged, a pep talk.
For the lonely and ignored, an ear.
For the anxious, perspective.
For the proud, gentle questions that identify insecurities and instill self-awareness and a desire for support.
For the slower learner, a lunch hour lost – never lost, just repurposed – to reteach.
For the confused and fearful, a voice of encouragement, “This is the way; walk in it.”

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