Relationships matter and connection is everything. We know this to be true on a personal level. We know that it is our connections in life that keep us moving, keep us grounded, keep us safe. But not all of them are easy.
There are connections and relationships in our lives that we couldn’t live without, a loved one or partner. We do everything we can to nurture and develop those relationships at every opportunity. We take time out of our day to call, chat, text. We take time to ask how their day is, what’s happening for them or even ask what they had for lunch. These little gestures, over time, build the very foundations of connection, trust, and relationship, and we do it all as second nature. We don’t stop and analyse the why, we instinctively know we need to do it.
When we have a moment in these relationships, and I mean a moment of negative interaction, we don’t tend to throw down the gauntlet because we have taken the time to build solid foundations. We don’t get fired up and torch the entire relationship. It is not the hill to die on. We talk, connect, forgive, and move forward. The hill to die on, to throw the relationship away, has to be a pretty sizeable hill. It has to be truly unforgiveable, something huge.
Relationships are everything. The little check-ins, chats and texts build our relationships over time, and our students are no different. People learn from people they like. I don’t mean people they are friends with. I mean people they like because they know they care. Teachers, who check in to say ‘Hi, it’s great to see you’, ‘Hey, how was your game on the weekend? Did you win?’ ‘I saw you the other day, it looked like you were having fun.’ These little daily check-ins with your students are exactly what is needed to build your relationship over time.
Then, when you have a moment with a student, a negative one, you realise that this isn’t the hill to die on. It is a moment. A moment in a relationship that isn’t always easy but also that this moment isn’t worth torching the whole thing over.
If we can learn to forgive our students when they have their moments – the same way we forgive our personal friends and connections – we can really build a culture of trust and learning.
Relationships are everything and there really aren’t that many hills worth dying on.
Check out other articles Cassie has written here.