Relationships First

Posted by Jen Miller-Arsenault on 9/2/2016 3:50:00 PM

I am taking advantage of a few quiet moments on a Friday afternoon to catch up on some professional reading.  As such, I just opened up the September 2016 issue of Educational Leadership and feel compelled to write. 

This issue of Ed Leadership is entitled Relationships First and the first article is about the importance of establishing positive relationships with students during the first few weeks of the school year. 

Rick Wormeli, of Fair Isn’t Always Equal acclaim, writes: “Although we can build positive relationships throughout the school year, the first weeks are crucial.  They set the tone and conditions for the year ahead, creating a more effective teaching and learning enterprise for everyone.  James Comer, professor of child psychiatry at Yale University, often declares, ‘No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.’  This connection is especially powerful for students who struggle.” 

I am struck by the investment that Washington Central Supervisory Union and our schools have made in the Responsive Classroom, the Teacher Advisory system and Restorative Practice.  Implemented with fidelity, authenticity, respect and a bit of awe and wonder, these systems lay the foundation so that all of our students achieve our WCSU Student Learning Outcomes. 

I wish you all a fabulous start to the school year!