In his sixth letter, Freire focus our attention in the relationship between the teacher and the learners.
There is a particular point that caught my attentions from this letter. The idea falls in the following sentence: “We could know our students as ‘just students’, or we could know our students as ‘humans’.”
In my personal interpretation, knowing a student just as a student is when we become aware of our students’ performance inside the classroom. On the other hand, knowing a student as a human, I understand, is when we get to know how they perceive themselves and how they perceive others; how they perform outside the classroom with their context. This is, the knowledge our students possess and how they use it to interact with their environment that surrounds them, their friends and their families.
Getting to know students or even, connecting with them is not always easy. First, there is the time factor. Secondly, having our students to trust in us takes its time. I usually keep in mind a phrase from a teacher, John Rassias, referred to the sincerity that must exist while building any relationship: “Without the truth, everything fails…”
When we get to know more than our students ’ names and grades, we, teachers, give them a sense that we care about them. We become aware some of the learners’ abilities we did not know before - abilities that sometimes are not possible to notice during our lessons. Even more, we can know the people who are constantly supporting our students and how important this is for them.But how this exchange of information occurs? As I have referred before, communication between teacher-student has its origin in the confidence generated by the sincerity.