A simple question: Have you ever felt bad when going to school?
I suspect that every person will answer yes. Everyone remembers those moments when school was the worst. It usually happens before an important exam or when your best friend or favorite teacher disagrees with you. We all have those stories. Most schools are quite unpleasant places to be. The buildings are large, hard to manage, painted with dull colors, and of course every single room looks almost the same. Most schools look and feel like some kind of a factory, not a place where science and art flourish.
But there’s one thing that makes schools alive: the people.
You may say: Of course! That’s obvious! Schools wouldn’t exist without people!
Yes, this is obvious, but not for everyone.
When you listen to politicians, school principals and everyone else, they always talk about funding, exam results, new curriculum and a whole plethora of lower-level importance topics. Yes, those things are important, and they definitely help improve the quality of education, but they’re not the most important. Of course, a state representative won’t be talking at a press briefing about the relation between Mrs. Jackson and Cody from fifth grade (Maybe he should?). Still, there’s not enough people in education focusing on improving relations in school. While student-to-student relations are more often cared about, and programs focusing on improving student mental health, among other things are certainly great and necessary, student-to-teacher relations are generally bad and unhealthy. Think about it like this: Have you ever had a teacher that you could call a friend?
Usually the primary goal of a teacher is simply to teach you new stuff, and while that’s of course great and essential, many lack the ability to establish meaningful relations with their students. A few days ago I was invited by my class teacher for an overnight sleepover in his house – the whole class was invited. The best part about this is the fact that it was actually our third time in his house! For some it may sound normal, but I bet that for most of you it sounds like something that would never happen in your school. Ever.
Building meaningful and thorough relations based on trust, kindness, and common interests changes what school is. Suddenly, this uninspiring, depressing, uninviting place turns into something where creativity and kindness prevail.
Let’s build a better future.
Note: Today’s post is shorter because I’m traveling. Next week I’ll come back with something much longer.