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The Simple Truth

Find Your Students' Unique Qualities

The Simple Truth

Susan Labadi

I remember the day my 6th grade teacher privately told me when I’d come up to her desk for help during a guided practice for math. She mentioned to me, “Sue, your mother irons your school clothes, and you always look so nice.”

That day, I’d learned that the little things matter and appearances can indicate how a family teaches their students those details which can make a positive impression and demonstrate their care and values.

It was a simple truth; yet, it was noted and acknowledged by my teacher who cared enough to connect with me personally.

We have such influence. This can be the leverage to motivate, teach, or ruin our potential ability to help students succeed.

Often in recollecting this story I shared it and my experiences as a teacher with my students. I’d add, “Students who succeed only have to put in 10% more time and effort to prove with no doubt that they are students of excellence.”

Do 3 Things

1. Early in the school year, try to take time to recognize and identify each of your students’ special qualities, no matter how seemingly slight. For in making them feel acknowledged, you open the door to them receiving your guidance.

2. For each assignment, when possible, share exemplary work which sets the target for performance from an anonymous student.

3. Nothing teaches better than leading by example. Walk the talk and demonstrate excellence and high caliber in performance, communications, positive attitude, and personal appearance.

You are the leader, the teacher, the closest to the ranking of prophets when you practice ihsan (excellence) in all you do. After all, “Is the reward for ihsan anything but ihsan?” (55:60)

Are you a leader? Bring a CISE Consultant to your school this year. We are scheduling and have excellent training packages. Visit our site at and click our Workshops tab.

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