After another year spent in the classroom (this year as a sub and as a volunteer leading a weekly Creative Writing Club), I have observed a few trends with my students - things I think kids are looking for.
Why should you care? Maybe you are like me - maybe you like kids. Maybe you have stories and experiences that match up with mine and confirm my observations.
Some people don't like kids - they like their own kids, but not other people's. Maybe you want to like kids but you are afraid of them, or just don't "get" them. Maybe the observations of others will encourage you to connect with a kid some time.
Observation #1 - Kids crave being known by someone.
Have you ever called a kid by the wrong name - especially the name of a sibling? Whew - they don't like it. They want to be known for themselves. They want to know you are paying attention and you remember who they are.
At the end of Writing Club this year, I made the students journals. Each one was a standard composition book. Then I printed up a name card for each student (with alphabets from Lettering Delights) using a font that I thought fit that student. When I had students say, "How did you know I liked...?" I knew I had found something important in my relationship with students. I needed to know them as individuals. I needed to know them by name, know something about what they did with their free time, what they were interested in.
Kids want to be known.