The Power of Relationship

James Comer (1995) said, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” How many of you believe that students don’t care until we learn to care? My question to you is, are we caring about the right thing for that certain child?

I know that there is pressure on educators continue to climb, with that pressure our minds may shift to the belief that discipline is the answer to “fixing these broken kids”: we need to come down harder and hold black and white expectations so all will fall in line. Studies have shown that forced compliance DOES NOT TEACH ACCOUNTABILITY. Severe consequences and removal from the classroom DO NOT induce learning; they set kids up to fail.

How do we balance Availability and Accountability with our students?

Balancing these two demands is one of the biggest challenges for educators. Here are some examples-

Are you a teacher that is so trauma-aware and sensitive to students situations that you only provide empathy, availability pieces, and have a hard time hold students accountable?

Are you a teacher that is so focused on the students accountability that you ignore the relationship piece?

Neither of these systems work. YOU need to find your own balance between the two. Remember, you are not expected to be perfect.

Please remember that all your students are different and it’s up to you to accept them for who they are and embrace their differences and unique qualities.

“These children aren’t seeking attention (even though they will settle for it). They are looking for a safe and trustworthy relationship (connection)” (Marvin et al.,2002).

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