Forging Relationships

Posted by Stanley Communications on 4/20/2023 3:15:00 PM

After Spring Break, faculty and staff came together for our professional development day before welcoming students back to campus. We reunited over breakfast, sharing stories of our time away and ready to engage with the last couple months of school. In our first session of the day, we discussed and shared ideas on the BP value of the importance of forging relationships.

Our Vision, Mission and Values statement reads: “We value relationships. We recognize that positive relationships are fundamental to student learning and to the successful operation of the school.”  Here are a few of our words:

Why are positive relationships important?

Having people who are there for you is the essence of life, and love. 
― Joanna Hambidge, Head of British Primary Professional Learning

Relationships give us purpose and meaning; they inspire us to be more and do great things. 
― Valentina Reiling, 3-4-5 teacher

Positive relationships are grounding. You have these people in the world you love so much and they love you. It allows you to take risks and grow. 
― Jon Gottesfeld, 3-4-5 teacher

We are unreliable narrators of who we are.  We tell the stories of ourselves that we want to tell. Without other people we can’t build an accurate story of who we are.                     
― Sam Pfeiffer, 3-8 Fellow

Positive relationships enable people to be their whole selves without judgment.
― Jackie Rose, 3-4-5 teacher

Positive relationships fulfill the human need for connection which is the purpose of life.
― Sophia Cruz, K-5 Spanish teacher

Relationships are foundational. They are everything. 
― Kathy Muller, 7th grade Language Arts teacher

How do we forge positive relationships with learners?

As a teacher I always want to be present, for my students to see me and think, “There’s Valentina, and she loves me and she’s comforting and supportive.” We offer consistency and predictability. We do things a certain way and we speak a certain way, and that feels safe. I think being generous with our presence, fully being there with our students, is how we forge positive relationships with learners. They know when we are. 
― Valentina Reiling, 3-4-5 teacher

Slow down, watch, notice.
― Andrea Arnold, K-1-2 teacher

We are curious, continuing to learn more about who someone is and where they are now and what they’re thinking. 
― Joanna Hambidge, Head of British Primary Professional Learning

We are unassuming. You can get into habits with people you know or, when you get to know someone, you might assume how they feel or assume how they’re going to react to something or assume what they’re thinking.
― Sam Pfeifer, 3-8 Fellow

In a truly great relationship you’re willing to have difficult conversations. 
― Jon Gottesfeld, 3-4-5 Teacher

When teachers create lessons that are engaging and exciting and feel meaningful to kids, it also helps forge a positive relationship. “Here’s someone in front of me who has the capacity to help me be excited and learn new things and discover new capabilities that I wasn’t sure I had.” I think that makes a big difference to a kid being respectful, wanting to listen, wanting to engage.
― Nan Munger, 6-7-8 Art teacher

We explain the “why” with what we’re doing. “Here’s why this is happening and this is why I want you to know this.”
― Kathy Muller, 7th Grade Language Arts

We allow relationships to grow. Relationships are ever evolving and ever changing. People grow and change and become better versions of themselves. 
― Nicky Arja, 3-4-5 teacher

As we enter these last months of school, we find ourselves busy with so much to do: class trips, musicals and shows, final projects and presentations, ceremonies and celebrations. At Stanley, we know that at the heart of all this is our relationships with each other. During our professional development session, we were reminded of the importance of slowing down to be with each other, to connect, to share stories, to see each other. 

We are grateful for the relationships with each member of our joyful learning community, and we remember Carolyn’s teaching on how to forge relationships in this last stretch of the school year.

Trust, listening, understanding where the other person comes from – their passions and interests, giving strength to each other, encouraging growth, being a friend, sharing creativity and passions, apologizing, listening to their point of view, sharing positivity, asking, “What can I do to help?” 
― Carolyn Hambidge, Founder