In all professional sports, there is a distinct advantage for teams when playing at home. We call this the home field advantage, and it is set by the thousands of rabid fans and those that are leading them. This community impact on success is often a matter of pride, and it is found in many other places beyond the stadium. In schools, when students feel safe, supported, challenged, and capable, studies indicate that they play on that home field too. They play at a higher level. But in order for that impact to be felt, it takes the whole school coming together in supporting kids.
And so it goes in your classrooms. Until you are ready to bleed the colors of your students, until you are ready to be more than just a fair weather fan, until you are ready to be just as committed during the losing seasons as you are during the winning, your students will never come to know what your full support feels like. We are all called to be their die-hard fans and we are all called to be their cheerleaders. So teach like one!
Teach like a cheerleader! You are the #1 teacher and you have the #1 students, and your team of youngsters can go the distance! Remind your students every day of this, and be excited! If they want to be champions, they must first believe that they are champions before they are in fact champions.
Teach like a cheerleader! And that means practice how you cheer. Practice the backflips you will end up doing for your students, so that when they score a touchdown on their math the reinforcement you provide is immediate, valued, and has a “WOW!” factor.
Teach like a cheerleader! Because you may be the only voice of support out there for some of your students. If you don’t cheer for them, who will? They may need you to be the president of their fan club, if only for a short time.
Teach like a cheerleader! Kids need your positive support! There is a world of hurt, a world of negative thoughts, a world of bullying, and a world of put downs that our students must face each day. All the while we have research indicating the positive effects of greeting kids at the door, smiling, and calling them out more for what they have down right than what they have down wrong. Don’t let a day go by without them knowing you are there for them.
Teach like a cheerleader! Because your chants for your students may start out alone, but they can catch on quickly. In the same way that the wave is started in an arena, other teachers in your building may pick up on your positive approach. The attitude you bring to work each day about kids can have a ripple effect that will go further than you will ever know. In other words, your attitude is like glitter: good or bad, once it is somewhere, it is everywhere.
Teach like a cheerleader! You did not choose teaching, teaching chose you! You made the squad! Don’t just stand on the sideline in silence while your players struggle out on the field of education. Let your students know who they really are and what they are capable of! Above all get out there and make some noise for kids and have fun doing it. WOOOO!!!!