Friday, October 28, 2016

Building Relationships…Why do we take the time?

“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”
African Proverb

Building relationships come in many forms at Goodrich School. It could be something as simple as a greeting in the morning to the more complex Kagan structures of classbuilding and teambuilding used daily by teachers.

So why do we take the time to build relationships in our classrooms?

In a traditional classroom, where students work alone without cooperative learning, they are not prepared for what lies ahead of them in their careers after school. They have to be prepared for fast-paced, competitive and changing environments. They have to be prepared to be problem solvers and innovators. They have to be prepared to work closely with others, even if they work hundreds of miles away from each other. Teamwork is what is being asked of employees, and working alone in the classroom will not prepare our kids for this new working world.

At Goodrich School we work to build relationships not only between teacher and student, but also between students. Positive relationships promote teamwork, interdependence, empathy, responsibility, and respect. Everything someone will need to work in any career.

Our students know and understand why relationship building is an important part of our day. Here is what some of them had to say about relationship building and why it is important.

"It helps us get along.” – Gabriella

“It will help when we need to build relationships in our future.” – Jake

“We are able to stand up for one another.” – Gurveer

“We are making an important connection with people
to have friendships for a long time.” – Dazlyn

“We learn from our mistakes with our classmates. We trust them not to laugh at us so we can learn from the mistakes we make.” – Camila

“We learn to appreciate the ideas of others.” – Jillian

As you can see, the students understand why relationship building is so important. It is why they go the extra mile during our classbuilding and teambuilding sessions. They know that this is about their future.

The biggest success story that I have seen in my classroom, in the past four years of building relationships with Kagan cooperative learning has been how my students have become a community of learners helping each other out when someone needs it, even without prompting from me. We are starting to see students transfer on their own what we structure for them in the classroom with cooperative learning! 

This should be celebrated by both teacher and students!

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