“The three most important words in education are: relationships, relationships, relationships. Without them, we have nothing.” -George Couros The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity
If we work with people, no matter our occupation, relationships are at the heart of all we do. In education, relationships help to open the dialogue with students, parents, and colleagues.
The importance of relationships cannot be overstated. Books about successful leaders discuss how these leaders built strong relationships. Podcasts about successful educators talk about the keys to building relationships with students and staff.
Relationships are the reason I went into teaching. When I was in elementary, middle, and high school, the teachers and coaches who invested in building relationships with me, gave me the courage to stretch my horizons. They encouraged me as a writer. They encouraged me as a creator. They gave me the belief that I could have the same influence on student learning.
Relationships are the main reason I returned to Siena Heights College (now Siena Heights University) to finish my education after a horrible start and a five years away. I had a chance meeting with a professor in a grocery store who urged me to return. That meeting reminded me of the family feeling I had at Siena and the way I felt supported by the staff.
Relationships are the biggest reason I enjoy being out in front of our school every day to greet the car riders. Each morning I have the opportunity to gauge their attitude and greet them with a smile. A quick moment with each student provides the possibility of helping to change their perspective before they head into the building and classroom. Additionally, it gives me the chance to let the teacher know about potential issues.
The teachers and leaders that I have found to be the most successful with students are those who are intentional about building relationships. They take the time to greet students entering their room. They listen to students. They encourage students. They attend extra curricular events and youth league games. They challenge children to grow as people and learners. They know which students need the extra push and which students need to be helped.
Successful students, teachers, and leaders are developed through strong relationships. I am thankful that I have had so many teachers, leaders, and colleagues who have modeled building successful relationships. Through their examples and mentoring I have learned the importance of relationships and keys to developing and maintaining these relationships.
Share your thoughts and comments below. I look forward to continuing the conversation about relationships. Please let me know what you think about my blog entries so I can continue to reflect and learn.
My Commitment – April Blog a Day Challenge
I have joined the #AprilBlogaday Challenge. The goal is to submit a blog entry every day in April. I will not promise each blog entry will be motivational, energetic, and thought-provoking. However, I will do my best to continue to reflect on my journey of learning and my areas of growth.