Thursday, April 18, 2019

Relationships Matter!

Relationships matter.

We all know this.

"Kids don't learn from people they don't like!" is one of my favorite quotes from Rita Pierson.  Relationships matter!

And, even though we all know this, sometimes, in the heat of a stressful moment (or even just the stresses of the day-to-day!), frustration shows or we just can't hold that smile another second.  The relationship doesn't go away, but it gets strained or in need of repair.

I've been in education for a long time.  I've been the teacher for a lot of kids.  And I know relationships matter!

BUT- that was made so clear to me this week with one of my sweeties.

This is a little one with a personality very similar to mine.  We're both strong, independent, with a dash of sass and stubbornness.  It makes me happy for her, because I know she's going to grow up to be outspoken, confident, and able to make good decisions for herself.  But... sometimes, our personalities aren't in sync and we butt heads a little.

Earlier this week, we were sitting on the floor in our little math group.  Me, her, and a handful of other students.  The other students were working hard, pencils flying across their pages.  She was sitting there, book closed, singing.  And I was tired of asking her to follow expectations.  So, I just joined in with her song.

Her face lit up.  (Probably shocked her teacher knew the lyrics!  But, this teacher is hip.  And really in to music.)

She scooched a little closer to me and we just quietly smiled and sang that song while our other friends were working.   (Incidentally, it was a great song- "Talk" by Khalid.  What can I say?  The girl's got taste!)

The song ended.  The math round ended.  I gave the signal for all to pick up and transition to the next activity.  The day went on.

A little while later, she came to me and told me she was going to follow expectations for the rest of the day.  That, when we walked to the buses for dismissal, she wouldn't climb on "that black thing" (a bike rack) or walk in the grass like she usually does when I ask her to walk with our class on the sidewalk.  She said, "I'm going to listen to you for the rest of the day and I am going to follow all of the expectations."  I hugged her.  Told her that she should feel proud to for making such responsible choices.  I told her how I couldn't wait to see her following expectations tomorrow too.  And she said, "Yeah.  I think can do that!".

I'm already thinking about the next song I can sing with her so we can keep building that bond.

If you've never watched the Rita Pierson TED Talk, please watch it!  So powerful and so true.

Think of that kiddo with whom you may need a relationship boost.  How can you do it?  Something so small as noticing a new haircut, a sports rivalry (I had the BEST rivalry with some kiddos who are now in middle school!)... even joining in to sing a song because you just don't want to argue anymore.  Little things make a difference.  And little differences add up to big changes!

Never forget the power you have build that relationship.


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