How refreshing to have leaders in education point to building strong relationships between student and teacher as a priority in helping to turn our schools around! Of course, here at this conference we are exposed to incredible rigor as BIll Daggett's group leads 6500 educators to over 100 sessions by guest leaders, speakers and practitioners all sharing rich data and incredible "turn around" stories of student success. It is all founded in his work as someone known by education and government leaders of every state for his work over 20 years (The Daggett System for Effective Instruction). (Learn more by visiting their site - The International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) at http://www.leadered.com ). There is more I will share later, but today wanted to focus on this one point about relationships that I thought to be so empowering.
In each session, there was a reference to building our relationships with our students to help them best succeed! Remarks by each presenter from Raymond McNulty - Senior Fellow ICLE and Chief Learning Officer at Penn Foster, to Deb Delisle - Asst. Secretary of Education, to Dr. Russell Quaglia of The Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations, among many others -- this theme resonated as most critical. In fact, as Russell put it "Get the relationship right between student and teacher and watch the achivement gap go away."
At a time when we are all short on funding, nice to be reminded that we can make some HUGE differences now that do not require money! Here, I've been reminded that wherever you see real schools that turned around, or student success that is off the charts -- and for real! -- when you look closely, you see it is founded in strong relationships. It has been restated over and again, that the primary role of a teacher is to prepare our students for life...to build a relationship with them that gains their trust to them be empowerd to guide their way.
Ray ended his session with this powerful message from the past "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." Franklin D. Roosevelt. Check out the ICLE website and go to one of their conferences -- I believe it will renew your passion to teach!