If you know me at all, you’ll know that I live, practice, dare I say, preach relationship. My work-life experience has confirmed consistently that when a trust relationship has been established between a student and their teacher, the student will have more freedom to learn. This has always made sense to me, so imagine my delight in discovering that we now have research solidly behind what is a pillar in my practice. (see Dr. Shonert-Riechl’s link below)
My long-suffering husband has heard me espouse at great length about how my success in teaching/counselling/administration is largely based on building and maintaining relationships. Before pedagogy, before programs, before the latest, greatest gadget, and well before the technology explosion; there was relationship. So it was with much care and considerable caution that he told me that ‘my talk’ was on TED. And then he fled the room.
“WHAT?” “WHO?” “REALLY?” Seriously, I’ve got my outfit all picked out for the day the TED people tap me on the shoulder to give my talk. ***sigh
At first I refused to watch. But curiosity won. I googled until I found it, found her, Rita Pierson. And I watched! Eight minutes of captivation by a speaker who spoke my truth.
Every Kid Needs a Champion. With humility I acquiesce. She said it better than I could. It’s a message worth spreading.
It’s a good time to be an educator. We are rich in research and it is confirming what many of us have already discovered. Community, caring, connection, are all pillars of relationship; they knit us in together in our humanness. These allow us to move forward. These add the joy to learning!
“Teaching and learning should bring joy. How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.” Rita Pierson
Better is Possible.
If you’re interested in the connection between SEL, relationship, and learning, here’s a link to one of Dr. Shonert-Reichl’s talks. Social and Emotional Fitness.