You may have seen this 60 Minutes video segment last year, or even last week when it aired again. It's a glimpse at the harsh reality that so many families and students face today -- and a powerful reminder for us as we prepare to make a difference in the lives of thousands of young people again this school year.
"Never has unemployment been so high for so long. And as a result, more than 16 million kids are living in poverty -- that's the most since 1962 . . . . It's life for a lot of folks. The number of kids in poverty in America is pushing toward 25 percent. One out of four. Austin and Ariel usually get cleaned up for school at gas stations. They find its best to go to different ones every day so the managers don't get sore . . . ."
Like the national average, the number of economically disadvantaged students in our district is nearing 25 percent. So, what is the impact on us? And, what do we need to do differently to maximize these students' success?
Hard Times Generation
5 Ways to Build Sustainable Relationships within Your School
As we begin the 2012 - 2013 school year with many new faces in our buildings, I wanted to share a short article that highlights 5 approaches to developing trust with your staff (Listen first; Overcommunicate; Confront inappropriate behaviors; Create fail-free zones; and Engage staff to gain support and build capacity). As author John Wilson states, "b
uilding relational trust with school staff is a precursor to sustainable success."
Good luck, and here's to a great year!
Building administrators can set the stage by devoting intellectual energy, time, and space to building an ongoing professional learning community. As another new year begins, remind teachers of the benefits of functioning as a community. Make sure teacher collaboration time intentionally nurtures your newest teachers and the experiences they’re offering young people. Consider ways to build community outside school hours. The end of the article serves as a reminder that we must “make the most of our opportunities to positively change the career trajectories of new colleagues in the same way we change those of our students.”