Rules WITH and WITHOUT Relationships!

As you begin the year, you may find value in modeling relationship building for and with your faculty and staff. When we develop relationships with our students, their CHOICES often become different.

When I was visiting Pleasant Valley Innovative School (Murray County) last year, led by their amazing principal Dr. Jenny Lock, I was inspired by the climate she and the staff had developed there. In speaking with the students, some of whom had chosen to attend the course repair portion of the program and others who had arrived due to behavioral issues at their home schools, the consistent message was this: we like it here because of the way we’re treated by the teachers and staff.

The students at PVIS shared that all of the teachers there knew them by name and didn’t treat them like they were bad.

As simple as that sounds, it seemed to be a big part of the success PVIS has in providing a quality education that leads to graduation.

When you feel invisible, it’s easy to hide from challenging work, from rules, and even from school. Students come to school for a number reasons, including the mandate to do so legally. Students do their best when they get there if there is a reason for them to do well. Someone there to NOTICE them. To notice if they’re absent, to notice when they’re there. To notice when they do well; to notice when things aren’t right.

Excellence in academic growth and achievement is a goal we all begin this year with. A pathway to get there is through relationships. We need the rules. We also need the relationships. How will you build both into a climate and culture of success at your school this year?

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