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Relationships Matter

This is a tag line/title that I imagine you are going to see frequently. 

The staff I teach with knows all too well (as do many teachers) that the relationships you build and foster with your students can make all the difference. When our students know we love them and care about them there is nothing they won’t try. Their motivation might be internal, but often times they just want to make their supporters — at home and at school proud.

Not having children of my own (yet– hopefully someday!), the majority of my knowledge of adolescents and child development comes from the classroom and my experiences with my students. Tonight, I began a 4 day babysitting “assignment” for a family from church. The parents of these 3 kiddos ( ages 6, 4 and 2) are out of town for a conference, so I have been able to experience the highs and lows of a typical Monday.

While today was “uneventful” I can’t seem to forget how instantly sad the two older kiddos got when they thought I would be upset with them, how the 2 year old just wanted to be held the entire hour and a half between dinner and bed time and how the only way I could get the 6 year old to sleep was to let her snuggle with me in her mom and dad’s bed until she fell asleep. She was almost in tears not understanding why she couldn’t fall asleep and kept apologizing. It took an hour and a half to get her to be sound asleep– but it did not upset me (perhaps it’s because it’s only night one of “mom life”).

Reflecting on each of these moments, I come back to the same conclusion. Relationships matter. In just 4 hours, I built a relationship with some kiddos I only “kind of knew” before today that has been incredibly meaningful. Knowing there will be 3 smiling faces ready to play (they already told me they can’t wait to do my hair and go to the park) gives me a sense of clam and peace as I get ready to fall asleep. This is the same feeling I get at the end of a school day, week or month where so many stressful moments get washed away by the one comment or kiddo that makes me  remember why I do what I do.

Get some rest y’all! 

-AMR-

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