Humans are naturally social beings. It is all about the relationships we build and grow. The better the relationships are at school, the happier and more productive students and teachers will be. When we have positive relationships, everything we do will be more enjoyable. When relationships are working, everyone is happier, more innovative, and creative. Here are ten ways to build positive relationships:
1. Create and Grow the Culture
Put aside at least two weeks at the beginning of school to build a caring, compassionate culture before jumping into the content. Don’t stop there though. Keep building the culture with personal greetings and inviting each student to share stories throughout the year. The more you get to know each student upfront will save you time later worrying about discipline and behaviors.
“Growing a culture requires a good storyteller. Changing a culture requires a persuasive editor.” Ryan Lilly
2. Build Trust
Trust is the foundation of every good relationship. If you trust the people at school, you can be open and honest with your thoughts and actions. Put time aside to discuss issues and let everyone have opportunities to speak. If there is a conflict, give them time and support to the people involved so they can resolve it.
“Building trust is a process. Trust results from consistent and predictable interaction over time.” Barbara M. White
3. Develop Mutual Respect
When you respect all the people in your school, you value their input and ideas, and they value yours. Working together, you can develop solutions based on your collective insight, wisdom, and creativity.
“Let us develop respect for all living things. Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love.” Jane Goodall
4. Be Mindful
Mindfulness means taking responsibility for our words and actions. Those who are mindful are careful and attend to what they say, and they don’t let their own negative emotions impact the people around them.
“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.” Buddha