Over the last two weeks, the power of strong and positive student / teacher relationships has been highlighted over and over for me through a number of different interactions.
- Over Labour Day weekend, I spent time with my sister and my twelve-year-old nephew and nine-year-old niece. My nephew started at a new middle school this week, and one of his (and his mother’s) biggest concerns was who his teacher was going to be
- I received a couple of notes prior to the first day from parents inquiring about the identity of their daughter’s teacher
- In response to inquiries of a number of SCS staff about their children’s starts at school, staff reported most often that things had gone well because their children had good teachers
- Finally, I had a wonderful conversation with an SCS parent who reminded me of a great TedTalk, entitled Everyone Needs a Champion, which highlights the importance of the power of the student / teacher relationship
I believe whole-heartedly in the power of positive relationships as they result in supportive environments that foster our girls’ and teachers’ authenticity. These relationships nurture the level of comfort that allows people to take risks in learning and teaching. Although this is true, it is important to note that while relationships are developed and nurtured over time, they must begin with both parties being open and willing to work on them. When our staff came together in August, we spoke a lot about our desire to assume good intent, even when things are not as we would expect them to be. As our teachers meet new students, and our students and parents meet new teachers, there will, inevitably be varying personalities, perspectives, and resulting approaches. Assuming good intent must be top of mind for all; however, as the adults in our community, we must model this for our girls. In addition to enjoying positive, supportive relationships, we want to ensure our Clementines are able to create and establish them too.