There are a lot of things kids need from you, but I think the most important one is to be their biggest cheerleader. It doesn’t matter what they are doing–got an A on an assignment, made the varsity team, hit their first baseball, got into a fight with their boyfriend–kids need to know that they have someone in their corner.
I think all of this comes down to the most important “R” in education: Relationships. When you build strong relationships, students will push themselves harder to meet your expectations because they know you care about them. Tell your friends/significant other you can’t do a night out this week because you are going to see one of your students sit on the bench for the football game, send out a whole class Remind telling everyone about an award that one of your students one, wake up at 5 am to watch a live stream of one of your students competing in a trampoline competition in Denmark.
It takes almost no time to be that cheerleader and it will make all the difference in the end.