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Building Caring Adult-Student Relationships - January 13, 2017

As we work to create positive learning environments that are equitable, inclusive, and focused on the whole child, we have begun to ask our students how they feel about the schools they attend.  Since we want every child to experience caring adult-student relationships, we used a survey adapted from Education for the Future to ask our students if they felt their teachers cared about them. Approximately 90 percent of our students in grades one through eight completed this survey. Of those students, 83 percent said they felt their teachers cared about them. While these results are encouraging, they also reflect that there is still work to be done to further foster and strengthen these relationships across the district. It is with this goal in mind that I would like to highlight the efforts being undertaken at Brooks Middle School to help solidify the bond that exists between our students and their teachers. 

"Relationships are everything," Principal LeeAndra Khan said when asked about the work her school is doing. "Teachers willing to be more involved is a sign of how important it is to establish strong relationships with students."

Communicating this value with her faculty and staff members seems to be paying off.  For example, below is data Principal Khan collected when she asked her teachers to identify the number of activities they were involved in with students outside of the classroom setting.

  • 75 percent of all Brooks staff are engaged in one or more non-classroom activities with students
  • 39 percent are engaged in two or more non-classroom activities with students
  • Five staff members (Tom Reising, Megan VerVynck, Anna Kinnaman, Abby Berman and Rachel Youngberg) are engaged in four or more non-classroom activities with students

I want to thank Principal Khan and her staff for sharing their story, and applaud them for the excellent work they are doing in this critical area to help us achieve our vision for student learning.

What about you?  What can or are you already doing to help each student experience a caring adult-student relationship in our schools and community? We want to know. Share your comments or suggestions on Twitter using #oakpark97.



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