Our topic of the week is the importance of relationships.
Paul begins by pointing out that it’s not possible to have transformational relationships with every child you teach – rather, we should concentrate on those learners we can have a long-term positive impact on.
Paul recalls his earliest experiences in teaching where he found many learners who weren’t interested in any of the strategies and techniques for behaviour management until they had a productive relationship with him. Paul found himself going through the same mantra time after time:
I care about you, I’m going to work with you and I’m not going away.
The children weren’t used to this and wanted a guarantee that Paul wasn’t going to leave like so many other adults had done in their lives previously. None of the the behaviour management techniques worked until this basis of trust was established.
After the establishment of his determination to build a relationship based on mutual trust, Paul could move on to creating more differentiated relationships with individuals.
It’s very important to define the relationship straight away – to establish the parameters and boundaries of the relationship. For example:
- you can’t be their friend but of course you can be friendly
- you can’t keep a secret for them but they can come and talk to you (because of safeguarding considerations)
Relationships that are worthwhile take time – there is a ‘drip, drip, drip effect’…
What would you like to hear covered in forthcoming episodes? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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Creative Commons image by benjaminasmith