The importance of values, and interactions
Published on Thursday, 18 February 2016, 5:31 p.m.   Print Article

Ian Berryman

Federation Deputy Headteacher, United Kingdom

The importance of values, 'teacher-student' interactions and relationships

The excitement of seeing the switch flick for a young person who has seen no worth in education is unrivalled - that unique ‘golden moment’ when; suddenly, sometimes without much warning, it falls into place and a student stands up and chooses to focus on success and future-building. A very special event indeed for a teacher, or any member of the education workforce who has invested energy and time in a young person.

Every single child; irrelevant of socio-economic background or postcode deserves a world-class education, a chance to experience many golden moments, to be challenged to think, solve problems, push past failure so that they can experience success. Now more than ever, our young people need a workforce which never gives up believing that every single child can achieve and can experience success. 

The children in our care sense instinctively if we are judging them, labelling them and regard them as unworthy - they need relentless high expectations and a team of adults who never give up believing ‘tomorrow, maybe tomorrow!’ The subtle signals we give young people about what we think of them are so powerful - we all need to keep this in mind with all our interactions with students. As a workforce, we accept that we have the power to encourage self-belief and self-worth or the power to compound a young person’s existing negative auto-script.

Our behaviour and our approach to the young people in our care can make or break a day - it is in the classroom that all the difference is made in schools, this is where students spend most of their time during the school day. 

Our values, behaviour and relationships will outlast any new educational initiative or structural change. Let's be proud to be part of a value-driven workforce, committed to changing lives and inspiring young minds.

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