A very wise mentor once told me, “Always err on the side of relationships.” This sage advice stuck with me as an educator and as a leader. It reminds me that while content is important, it isn’t heard unless it is in the context of a relationship.
The second belief held by the Institute for Excellence in Education (IEE) is: Relationships matter . . . a lot and they must be established with students and colleagues.
We have all heard the adage “students don’t care what you know until they know you care”. Adages become “adages” because they are true.
If you and I were to recall the best teachers we ever had, I can guarantee you that we had a relationship with those teachers. We knew they cared for and connected with us.
The same thing is true with colleagues. It is a basic human need to be understood, to be cared about, to be connected. Humans are relational. Collaboration doesn’t work without people forming relationships. The culture of a school is a barometer of the relationships within that building.
This IEE belief also reminds us that we must take action to establish relationships with students and colleagues. Frequently relationships don’t just happen. They need to be built through extending trust, engaging in dialogue, and listening deeply to one another.
Whatever information we want to convey must be sent on the wings of relationships.
Read the blog, “Change is an Inside Job” where I discuss our third belief.