Thank goodness my mother is a great thrift store shopper. I show love to my students in visible and invisible ways. My mom takes care of the invisible part. When I notice a child in need, all I have to tell my mom is what size clothing or shoe they wear. She finds great little gems for me to pass on to the counselor for a student in need.
This year I learned that one of my students didn’t even know his own birthday. Fortunately one of our amazing paraprofessionals brought it to my attention so I could make a big deal out of it. Not long after, another boy came to me explaining that his family didn’t do anything special on his day- not even the Happy Birthday song. He regularly gets a backpack on Friday filled with some food for his family to last the weekend so I snuck in his favorite graphic novel series complete with chocolate to top it off and Happy Birthday with his name in big letters. Those are examples of the invisible ways I show love.
I do give pats on the back, call them “Honey”, and use a gentle touch on the shoulder to remind them to get back on track. Most importantly, I carefully choose my words with children as they take risks in the classroom. It’s too hard to always know what is on their mind.