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Dr. Haim Ginott


After one week of 12 hour plus days in staff development and setting up my classroom, I would like to share a favorite quote with you on the day before my first, and maybe your first day, with new students.

“I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
Dr. Haim Ginott

I have seen this quote used in so many different situations, it is a testament to the power of the message. I believe it is a comment that all adults should consider. I have had it displayed in my classroom since the very first day of my teaching career, and I read it often as a gentle reminder of my ability to bring joy and courage to my students. To all those who begin a new school year tomorrow, or within the next few weeks, or maybe you have already started! I wish you the best year, with many successes, smiles and some strategically chosen mental health days!

"It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others-and less trouble." Mark Twain



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