*This is blog post #3 in the 2012 Summer Blog Challenge*
In my last post, I shared what I learned from Willard Daggett speaking about Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. Readers’ comments on that post pointed out that I didn’t speak to the 3rd R, however, Relationships are essential in schools in order to get to the Rigor and Relevance.
On relationships, Daggett refers to the necessity for teachers to build relationships with students in the classroom. Daggett’s point about relationships was that learning is personal. When teachers have strong, trusting relationships with their students, they work harder and achieve more. The same is true with leaders. We may have many ideas about what needs to be done; but without trusting relationships with those we wish to lead, we will find ourselves alone on the journey, It is so easy to get excited about the Rigor (this could be technology, new classroom pedagogy, etc.) that we forget to build strong foundational relationships before setting off on our journey.
When I think about Relationships, I think about the number 96. What is the significance of 96? On the last day of school this year, a student in our school told her teacher that she doesn’t get to go to summer school (we have a large summer school program with many enrichment classes) and she is counting down the days until she gets to come back to school…96 days until she gets to be back to her favorite place. I know that it is the relationships this student has had with her teachers throughout the years that have made our school her favorite place to be.