Tuesday, August 10, 2010
There are so many kinds of relationships: parent and child, husband and wife, and teacher and student. There are collegial and peer relationships, professional relationships, and congenial and volatile relationships. Last week I had the privilege of listening to my husband address a small group of new employees, new teachers to a school district. He challenged them to build relationships with their students; to take an interest in their lives. He shared a story of his fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Brown, and the impact she had made on his life. Mrs. Brown shared his love of baseball and through baseball, she hooked him as a learner all year. His life was ever changed because of her. In the spring of that year, he looked in the stands, and there she was watching him play baseball. Over 20 years later, when he obtained his first position as a high school principal, he received a letter from her, congratulating him on becoming a high school principal and expressing her pride in his accomplishment. Thirteen years later, he still has this letter. Mrs. Brown made an impact on his life. A big impact. She showed him how to care about kids. She showed him how to care about people. From her, he learned one of life’s most important lessons. He learned how to connect with people. As a learner he experienced the difference a teacher can make in your life. He experienced what it is feels like for your teacher to “hook” you as a learner….to find out what makes you “click”….and then design work for you around your interest. I challenge you to get to know your students, learn their interests, their heart desires, and what makes them “click”. Through getting to know them, relationships will be built. In the end, that’s all that really matters.