My wife is an amazing woman. Beautiful, smart, has raised two strong daughters, can cook anything, and takes zero crap from me! Right now, she’s reading Creative Curriculum, a preschool curriculum that Head Start is using. She came across this gem as we were talking about the relationships that we build.
I needed to share it out via Twitter and Facebook because the more I read this statement, the more frustrated I’ve become.
If this is written in a preschool curriculum book, why aren’t we all following this? Why don’t our students have a that “nurturing” environment at all levels? This could be the one place they have access to this where they truly feel safe! Why aren’t they getting “stable relationships” from all their teachers? Some students push buttons, I know this to be the truth (oh do I know this!). But if the relationships they have with us, here at school, are the only stable ones they have, aren’t they worth the work? If research proves the above two items, plus a “linguistically and cognitively rich environments” lead to “healthy brain development and learning” what in the world is stopping us from providing this?
We had this awesome speaker, Paul Gassor (I really thought I wrote about him, but I couldn’t find a blog. That’s a whole different topic!), who came and spoke to us about “Building Culture and Relationships with Students”. Awesome speaker and lifted so many of us up from a really awful week. He spoke about how you need to build the relationships, first. The curriculum won’t be worth a darn if the student doesn’t feel like you care. We ALL, as educators, know this to be true! Mr. Gassor just reenforced a number of things our middle school team believes in!
My wife, my daughter, and I spend a lot of time talking about relationships in her high school. My daughter’s a very perceptive person (she just can’t always keep that perception to herself 🙂 ), and when my wife read the above mentioned page to me, just just shakes her head. She knows the lingo of education and has heard both my wife and I talk about relationship building and how important it is in teaching. She’s also very strong willed, and when she doesn’t see those relationships being built, she struggles in the class. She’s a student where the relationship is half the battle and if she doesn’t feel comfortable, she’ll let you know in less than positive ways. Yeah, she can be a tough one at times.
But if, in preschool, we know this to be true, that the relationships we build with students create a positive or negative attitude, why wouldn’t we be making those relationship top priority? Why aren’t we held to that standard of creating that relationship, creating a positive environment, a place where students want to come and learn?
Unfortunately, I don’t have those answers, and that frustrates me too. 🙂