Wintery forest; 2017 Happy New Year

Posted: January 3, 2017

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

This is the time of year for resolutions.  According to Statistics Brain, about half of us make a resolution and only 8% of us are successful.  Resolutions typically focus on outcomes, losing weight for example.  Maybe focusing on the outcome is the wrong approach.  Of course outcomes are important to us in education, but most important is helping our students develop as learners.  The outcomes follow when there’s a focus on the process of learning.  Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps it should be New Year’s Learning!  What New Year’s Learning will help you better serve our students?

In the spirit of New Year’s Learning I wanted to share a great podcast, Hidden Brain: Students and Teachers.  The podcast discusses some interesting research about the student and teacher/mentor relationship.  This relationship is dynamic and ever-evolving, one that we can always learn more about.  A few highlights:

  • When students and teachers recognized commonalities in each other, students performed better academically
  • Having things in common anchored relationships
  • Interestingly enough, when speaking with teachers and students strengthening relationships made a bigger difference to the teacher, it inspired them and changed the way they taught which then affected their students.
  • The relationship between student and teacher is not incidental to education, it is central.

The student and teacher/mentor relationship gives us great JOY and also HOPE.  We can make a difference by investing in the way we build and sustain our relationships with students.

Happy New Year & best wishes in meeting your New Year’s Learning!

Jeff