Often we hear our children say, “I love school!” Nothing is wrong with this statement. Most schools would be thankful for the sentiment. But I want to challenge the relationships in your classroom and building. How often to you hear “My school loves me!” Some of you would say it is just semantics, but I hear powerful relationship when those words are uttered.
We are all biased with the students we have in our care. For example I believe without a doubt that my middle school has the best learners, period. You better feel the same about your classroom or school community. But how are you creating and developing those relationships?
“My school loves me!” came from one of our eight grade learners. It happened while interviewed by a local television station. You see, Dylan has Ewing’s Sarcoma and was going to be leaving our school family to have his foot amputated. The story (click to view) and interview was very genuine. As I heard Dylan say this statement, I paused and realized that might be the most significant compliment we can hear as educators and facilitators. It was a powerful and authentic student voice.
Our main goal in education should be relationships. Relationships will power you through the grind of the year. They bring hurt and joy. I believe if you do this correctly, the highs are very high and the lows really hurt. That is the game you play when you are all in.
There are special circumstances in Dylan’s story, but why can’t we hear this from every learner? I recently tweeted a quote I created about relationships.
Relationships unlock learning
Relationships allow for innovation
Relationships touch generations
Relationships leave legacies
I challenge you with this question: How can we move relationships beyond the talk stage? A previous blog post I wrote this summer touches on this. Read “Hear, Do, Be”. Move to Be.