For years one of the significant goals within our schools at Lakeside is to emphasize the relationships that our staff develops with our students. I believe our school staff has over time come to a good balance between maintaining a professional school environment while creating a safe place for students to have relationships with staff and fellow students.
We have found that students learn better if they are in a safe and constructive relationship with their teachers and counselors. Issues like transparency, vulnerability, safety, respect, attunement, honesty and affirmation are all paramount to environments where students can succeed.
The relationships that we have established set the foundation for the neuroscience of brain regulation. For students who are operating in their lower brain, regulation techniques allow them to be in a position to relate which then leads to better learning potentials. Therefore, regulation sets the stage for better potential to relate to our staff, their parents and each other. At that point we have maximized their potential to learn.
One innovative resource for student learning is the Edutopia website. On that site is a video about the Power of Relationships as it relates to teachers and students in school environments. I think it demonstrates in very succinct way what teachers can do to build relationships with their students.
Here is the link: https://www.edutopia.org/video/power-relationships-schools
Primary to any effective learning environment is how emotions are handled within the context of positive relationships. I believe this video demonstrates some of the dynamics of building safe, comfortable and authentic relationships with students. We have found that it is essential to a safe, productive and effective educational environment.