We know that this can’t be emphasized enough: strong relationships will be essential to students’ academic success and well-being this coming school year. And now, especially with the beginning of the semester, is a crucial time for developing the personal connections that students will need to sustain them through what is going to be an unpredictable school year, at best as well. The admission management system needs to be implemented as well. We know that developing meaningful relationships between teachers as well as students—and even among staff, students, and families—will be a challenge as well. We see that educators cannot take for granted or assume that relationships among students or between students as well as teachers will develop and thrive on their own in this new educational reality.
We know that relationship-building is going to need an assist from educators and school leaders. We know that while that work should be prioritized as well as given time in the school week, the effort does not necessarily have to be labor-intensive or even time consuming—so long as it’s done intentionally as well as early. We see that to map relationships, school staff members come together virtually or in person to brainstorm all the adult connections individual students have at the school to identify those students who don’t have any as well as then connect them with a mentor within the school. Additionally, we know that schools can flip the mapping exercise as well as ask students to identify which adults they feel closest to.
We know that if school buildings are closed, mentors—in particular, those who are not teachers and aren’t in regular contact with students, such as school counselors, coaches, or administrators should be encouraged to maintain connections with students either through phone calls or good old-fashioned letter writing as well. We know that regular emotional check-ins—weekly or even daily—where teachers get a read on how students are feeling as well as what is going on in their lives beyond their computer camera is an effective relationship-building strategy that can easily shift from in-person to remote classes or be done under a hybrid schedule as well.
We know that the point is not so much to lead a group therapy session but to show a genuine interest in students’ lives as well as thoughts, which establishes trust and a connection that students can reach when they’re struggling as well. Finally, we see that with all this discussion on how students are social creatures whose happiness as well as mental health depends greatly on feeling connected to a community, it’s important to acknowledge that the same is true for educators. The situation is putting extreme pressure on teachers, as well as they need supportive relationships to be able to fully be there for their students. To this end, we see that school leaders should consider ways to help staff stay connected as well.
We see that students who feel connected to school are more likely to succeed– they have better school attendance, grades, as well as test scores and stay in school longer. We see that students who attend classrooms with higher emotional support are more likely to exert effort to understand difficult concepts. We see that building these relationships requires perspectives that embrace positive attitudes as well as beliefs, cultural and linguistic competence, and understanding of the needs and experiences of students, and an understanding of the school environment as well. We know that teachers who report positive connections with their colleagues say that their coworkers are friendly as well as care about them.
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We see that they say that their colleague’s respect as well as trust each other. We see that they see their coworkers as accepting as well as encouraging, as well as collaborative and supportive of each other’s success. We see that they feel that they can communicate openly with colleagues, as well as can go to them for help if needed. The fees management system as well can help the school management. We know that the strong relationships between adults as well as students must include: expressing care, challenging the growth, providing support, sharing power, as well as expanding possibilities