Just a few weekends ago my family had to say goodbye to one of our dearest pets, our hedgehog Willow. Many people have never had a pet hedgehog, and still fewer have had a pet hedgehog that has the disposition of a puppy. Our Willow never balled up (a well-known defense mechanism) in response to our affection, regardless of how often it was given. She was, as remarked by her veterinarian’s, the most kind hedgehog they had ever seen. Even in our final moments together her sweet little face only warmed our hearts as we knew she would be in a better place running free and chasing bugs to nibble.
It is at times like this that one can see the profound impact that our pets have on our lives. Willow was only part of our lives for a little over 2 years, but she was firmly a loved member of the family. She often traveled with us to any outings we had and brightened any day. In reminiscing about our valued time together, I began to wonder how to this power of relationships may factor into education.
Below are 15 links all containing great information on to build meaningful relationships with students. A strong relationship between teachers and students can lead to creativity, innovation, and achievement at level never before thought possible. I encourage all educators to take time to create and nurture relationships with students even if you’re starting this late in the school year. Utilize specialists in your buildings to assist you in reaching even the toughest of students. It is truly amazing what students can produce when they are in an environment where they feel directly connected and valued. These powerful relationships can give a personal stake to learning and achievement. Any person can easily attest to the fact that projects or endeavors that have a personal connection or inspiration rarely lack passion or result in a so-so final product.
Patrick B. Hausammann, M.S. Ed.