When I was 13 my form tutor, and teaching idol, Ms. Watson gave me a newspaper article about my favourite author Terry Pratchett. Weeks earlier she had seen me reading his book furtively under a classroom table and spoken to me about my love of his works. The article was ripped from the Sunday Times Magazine. She handed it to me and said: "I saw this at the weekend and thought you might like to read it." I was a good kid so teachers often said nice things or picked me for trips, but I remember being genuinely touched by the idea that a teacher thought about me outside of school. That article is still in my copy of Pratchett's 'Hogfather'.
I told this story to a colleague who said she often did the same thing. When she gave the item to the student she would say: "I saw this and thought of you." It was then down to the student to respond. Sometimes they dismiss the item, othertimes they beam and place it somewhere carefully. In all cases I do believe it makes the student feel more valued and more liked as long as it is given from a genuine belief that it is something they are interested in.
5 days ago