Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Human Contact

They say that those can’t teach. Wrong. Each and every one of us is capable of teaching someone, something. Recently, one of my students has taught me a powerful lesson about HUMAN CONTACT.

You see, this student had an accident. An honest accident that has resulted in a much longer hospital stay than imagined. Now, just for a moment let me tell you that as an administrator that this student and I have had a tenuous one at that relationship when it came to our HUMAN CONTACT. As he was struggling to find his way, I was there to h correct and redirect his choices and that meant that initially more times than not that we did not see eye to eye. However, that being said, over time our HUMAN CONTACT has become more positive and he was headed down the right path thanks to the not only the choices he has made but from the many other positive HUMAN CONTACTS with the staff.

When I was notified via the blinking LED on my Blackberry, an electronic device that seeks to eliminate the need for HUMAN CONTACT, I made a point to stop in and see him at the hospital. Stopping in to see him was the right thing to do in my opinion and I have continued to stop in and see him everyday. Why, you might ask? Simply put, he needs HUMAN CONTACT. This has nothing to do with classwork, or grades, this simply has to do with showing support for another human being. His family situation being what it is means that he has few visitors at a time when some families might find it a rallying point. However, this is not a judgment on his family, because they are coping with the situation that they know best.

The whole idea of HUMAN CONTACT is at a cross roads. Take a look around or go to any coffee shop. You will find a vast majority of people devoid of any real HUMAN CONTACT. They are hunched over their keyboards, or squinting and feverishly checking their smart phones for the latest update via email, Twitter, Face book, etc. Some sort of validation of their own well being. See….someone recognizes my thoughts or likes what I have to say! It’s easy to get lost in a sort of virtual reality. I will admit myself to falling victim to this pattern even when I should be paying more attention while with my family.

However, it doesn’t have to be like that and this student unknowingly has taught me a lesson about the value of HUMAN CONTACT. Lift your head up from that keyboard, put away that smart phone and engage in HUMAN CONTACT. We all know how to do it.


Fifty K said...

Great post. Lots of smart advice we all should stop and follow from time to time.

Unknown said...

Totally agree. The best thing I have found with my role (also an administrator) is the chance to get out from behind the desk and engage with students. Meeting real people, hearing real people's stories and understanding real people's dreams and desires is what motivates me both as a human but also as a person working in education.

Rightly said - there is no substitute for HUMAN CONTACT.

jt00ct said...

Well said. Thank you for the reminder.

MichaelRunner said...

No doubt it means a lot to a kid in the hospital to have someone come visit.

Kelownagurl said...

Excellent post, Mike, on both counts. I have a student like that in my room right now and although he's always in trouble, what he really needs is a hug. He's only 8 - I worry for him when he's older.

And me, I need to get off the computer. Thanks and good night!