“As adults…we need to take time to connect and listen, to try to get to know them (students) and then that lays to groundwork for building relationships. Those relationships lay the groundwork for teaching and having a meaningful impact.”
-Dr. Danny Steele
Relationships. I can’t think of something of greater need other than social awareness within our schools and as a nation. Educator Dr. Danny Steele reminds us that relationships with students are built upon the connections established through listening in trying to truly understand where they are coming from. I think to add on to this is that it is not just limited to students but also adults in building that connectivity. The groundwork that is needing to be laid is imperative in both.
The key to ensuring that the groundwork being laid down is being done effectively and efficiently is making sure that one, the necessary time is spent and effort is being reciprocated by both people or groups within those relationships. It needs to be that give and take. Think of all the different relationships you have currently. It’s hard work to maintain them and make sure they are healthy ones isn’t it? But realize if you value it, you will work at it. And remember, we can only control how we interact and respond. t is up to the person or group on the other side to do the same.
We need to also keep in mind that listening piece is crucial. We cannot be thinking of what we’d like to say to that other person or group while they are talking to us because then we are not really hearing what they have to say. It will come across to the person talking and we need to remember that it is not about us as the individual. Its all about that partnership and we need to be fully present for that person or group. The only way a relationship can become stronger and maintain its healthiness is by doing this with an open heart and mind. Its all in to get the results you desire from that relationship. As the saying goes “teamwork makes the dream work.”
Dr. Steele also mentions that in laying all this groundwork down the correct way the end result is having having a meaningful impact. He references teaching which he is in fact right but again I’d like to add one more thing. It also has a meaningful impact on the people or groups involved within those relationships. We all can grow academically as well as social and emotionally. When we intentionally and willingly collaborate, and are open and honest with one another, it is a win-win in the end.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your relationship skills?