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september 13_2013 499“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” –Dr. James Comer

In reading a study about independent schools this week I was once again reminded of the most important aspect of education… relationships. We can have beautifully appointed schools, the latest curriculum based on the most current research and lessons taught by the “teacher of the year,” but if we don’t engage with our students, get to know them and allow them to get to know us, we and they will not succeed. Relationships matter.

As Rita Pierson says in her TED Talk, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” Training and education matter for our teachers. It’s important to learn and value learning. It is also important to build relationships and learn about the children who are in our presence each day. Children matter and they need to know that the teachers working with them value them and are working for their success.

With all of the discussions about education and what is needed for schools to do a better job for children, it comes down to a few simple ideas: building trust, letting students know you care, and getting to know each and every student. Relationships matter.