Relationships and Learning

Principals who desire to improve their schools, and teachers who want to improve their students’ academic achievements, need to keep in mind what psychologist Abraham Maslow conveyed years ago, viz., People must FEEL cared for and cared about BEFORE they will take risks necessary to achieve.

Students too often receive messages in the form of words, gestures, actions, and bulletin board postings of achievements that convey to them that they must achieve well in order to be thought of as worthy.

Too many educators fail to realize that, with so many students, the foundation of success rests in human relations. This is especially the case with young students and students in poverty—where relationships are their most prized possessions.

At one of our block parties, I was speaking with Jeanette, a neighbor who teaches second grade in Cerritos, California. Jeanette related to me how she always finds some positive and empowering comment to give her students. Every student believes he or she is special to the teacher. Every student feels cared about. No wonder her students love their teacher—and why she loves to teach!

Using the three principles to practice of the DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS TEACHING MODEL is very effective in creating such relationships.