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Geena Davis on validation by a teacher


Geena Davis, Best Actress Oscar winner and women’s empowerment activist, in an interview with Dotson Rader (Parade, 4/11/17), spoke of Amy Kelly, a music teacher she had from ages 6 to 13.
She recalls Amy always telling her, “‘You can do it!'”
“She gave me confidence,” said Ms. Davis. “She loved me. It’s very meaningful to have someone not in your family say you’re valuable.”
Geena Davis had a supportive mother, but considers this boost from a non-family member as having great meaning to her.
The college teacher is an honored non-family member in the life of a student. College students are profoundly stretching their limits just by being in college, and can feel more vulnerable than they have in any other situation.
When the teacher shows the student that he or she is known and respected, the student’s confidence can shoot upwards, along with his or her commitment and skills acquisition.
A student who feels known and appreciated is much less likely to drop a course or leave school than one who feels regarded as just another number.
What can you do to communicate your caring to a individual student?