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At Its Core, Teaching is About Relationships.

Education has always been a rich source for personal experiences, both good and sad. As I celebrate my 30th year as an educator, my last 10 years as an instructional leader improving Title 1 schools, I can’t help but reflect on my experience as a new teacher. In my first year, there were no teacher induction or support programs. New teachers received the most difficult assignments and were expected to sink or swim.

Having worked in a very diverse state, I have been graced to experience a large variety of cultures, races, identities and demographics. At its core, teaching is about relationships. Great classroom teachers understand that classroom learning success is based on a variety of key elements, with positive relationships with students being the highest priority. Lesson planning, effective pacing, consistent expectations, and clearly defined procedures and directions are equally important factors.

Great teachers also understand and carry the individual ownership and responsibility for educating all students. Most importantly, great teachers understand that the overwhelming majority of age-appropriate behaviors are attention-based. Too frequently, inexperienced teachers are drawn to reacting to the inappropriate behaviors, instead of responding to the students who are in compliance. In addition, newer teachers assigned to urban areas are sometimes lacking in the cultural proficiency and confidence to engage challenging student populations.

No-Nonsense Nurturer is a comprehensive research-based program that applies common sense strategies that great teachers already know and utilize. It all starts with building positive relationships.

By John Rastatter, Principal

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