Thomas F. O'Neill
Many students in China understand the value of American education. Thousands of Chinese students apply every year to top American schools. The majority of these students also have great respect for their teachers. Because of that reason, I enjoy being in their company.
If we are honest with ourselves, we all want and need to feel valued for who we are and recognized for our contributions and accomplishments, which is especially true for teachers. Itís important for us to know that we have made a difference in someoneís life. If a person takes the time to express his heartfelt appreciation for something we have done, it boosts our spirit, passion and purpose. It builds our self-confidence, self-esteem and self-image. It gives us energy and motivation to work harder and do more.
When you give people a sincere compliment, you are making their world a better place. You are making them feel appreciated and valued. In China, that recognition and feeling of accomplishment is greater than monetary rewards.
I have found that when teachers express approval or gratitude for something students have done, they not only enhance studentsí lives, they enrich their own lives. Teachers feel more fulfilled when they have done something to make someone elseís life better.
One of the laws of the universe states that what you give, you get in return.
My students all have dreams to make great monetary gains in life, but I like to remind them that the most precious things cannot be built by hand, bought or sold by man. They can only be experienced through a wondrous soul and shared from one heart to the other.
When you show interest in others by noticing the good things theyíve done, they will be drawn to you like a magnet. It will accelerate the relationship-building process and enhance their overall impression of you. When a teacher accentuates all that is positive within his student, he in turn, accentuate all that is positive within himself.
When you show your appreciation to others, their respect for you will grow and so will your influence as a teacher. Students will absolutely prefer to work harder for the teacher they like and trust and who show an interest in them.
In China, itís a free form of currency, teachers will do more for recognition than they will for money. If you are in a teaching position, remember that students will work harder and do more if they know they will be recognized for their accomplishments. Show them you care, and they will be loyal to you, and you will see a huge improvement in their academic performance.
It has also been proven that if parents show an interest in their childís education, their child will also take a greater interest in their schoolwork. If parents lack interest in how their children are performing in school their children will not recognize the value of getting a decent education.
I have found that respect is vital for a studentís overall education. When you truly care and respect others, you will find that others will truly care and respect you. When a teacher takes the extra time to reach a struggling student, it is perceived as an act of kindness.
I once told my students, long after your lesson plans are forgotten, it will be the simple, kind acts of your teachers that you will remember well into your old age and that is perhaps your teacherís greatest legacy.
Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F OíNeill
U.S. Voice mail: (410) 925-9334
China Mobile: 011 (86) 13405757231
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