• Brandon Perry

The Importance of Authentic Relationships

Updated: Feb 8

Building positive relationships with those in a school community is essential as an educator. It is vital to foster connections with your students, parents, and colleagues. The more these partnerships thrive, the more students can learn and grow which is ultimately the main goal.

During my first few years teaching I was very reserved as an educator. I was quiet during meetings and my teaching style was very transactional. I thankfully had a class one year that changed that. Anyone who teaches middle school knows how it is an awesome age group to teach and they always keep you on your toes. This one particular class really strived to get to know me more. I initially remained reserved and with my transactional approach. But they were persistent each day in their approach. Finally I began to open up more during my classes. Offering ways to engage on a more personal level with the class. Simple things such as discussing favorite movies or books. The students were very interested in why I had become a teacher. I was again hesitant to share but eventually did.

Following college graduation, I chose to challenge myself through a program at the National Outdoor Leadership School. I spent three months in the Patagonian region of Chile sea kayaking and mountaineering. This experience changed my life forever and set me on the path I am still on today. The major realization I came to was the connection to people and the positive impact we can have on each other. I arrived back home a few weeks before Christmas with newfound clarity on wanting to help others. A few weeks later on Christmas Day my mom suddenly passed away. It was a challenging experience to get through but it provided me with such drive to go after my goal of helping others. I began pursuing my teaching career that winter.

I shared this story with my students. They truly gained a new level of understanding of who I was and why I was passionate about teaching. Winter approached and we were preparing to leave on our holiday break. I was flooded with notes from my students knowing the holiday season was a difficult time for me. I was completely blown away by how a simple story earlier that year impacted my students.

Ever since then I have made it my goal to be authentic and focus on creating positive relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. I try to intently listen each day to everyone in hopes of gaining more understanding of who they are and hearing their stories. It provides the path of learning together and helping each other. #BlueSkiesEdu

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