*Learning to Communicate
This seems like a very simple concept. I have an almost 2 year old son(August), Maxx who is working through this process right now. He is putting words together, using his hands to signal things he wants and definitely using his vocal cords to tell us what he doesn't want. As he grows older he will put together sentences and be able to articulate what he wants and when. As toddlers advance to teenagers they begin to expand vocabulary and even throw in words they shouldn't use(Normally words they have learned from home or from friends). As they grow into young adults and beyond they learn to structure their sentences to use persuasion and sell themselves to businesses, parents, community members, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. I feel however that we really are missing something when it comes to communication and teaching our kids to communicate.
Communication is the key to building relationships. Building relationships is the key to building the communities that surround our schools. One of the most powerful things a person can do is look the other person that they are talking with in the eye. Be honest, head up and be proud of who you are and what you can do. Many times when I speak to students, the first thing I tell them is to be honest. Regardless of what a student did or did not do-the consequence may not change, but when they leave the room more often than not I will be their advocate because they were honest with me. Learning to communicate with eyes and honesty will gain them more respect than no eye contact and constant lies.
Once proper communication is learned(it must be a continuous learning) then relationship building can begin. Just to point out how important it is to me, I have been involved in many interviews in the past 4 years with prospective teachers. Normally one of the first questions that we ask them is what are the characteristics of an excellent teacher. Honestly, the only answer I am looking for is that an excellent teacher can build a great relationship with kids. After that, they have me hooked!
At Basehor Linwood High School we have a phrase called, The Bobcat Way. We talk about relationships, communication, loving others, treating others the way we want to be treated. If you are ever in our building and someone offers to hold the door for you, or help you when you are lost, or possibly even help carry items for you, or by gosh just shake your hand when you enter the building-Ask them why they do that and hopefully the answer you will get is, "It's the Bobcat way. That's what we do here."
So I guess as I move forward with continuing to teach my son to communicate my focus will be on relationships. Continuing to model for him how to treat people with love, be honest and be a part of that community that can grow around a school district. (He is getting better I promise!) So parents, grandparents, and family members, take some time from the computer, tv, phone, etc...and TALK to your kids. Learning how to communicate can be the key and success to their future.
Dates to Remember
August 5th, 6th-Enrollment at BLHS
August 5th-New Staff will report
August 8th-Opening Convocation for all Staff
August 14th-First day for New students and Freshman
August 15th--All Students first day
August 26th--Back to School Night
Here are some other great articles to read(And some great twitter follows!)
1. The Colorful Principal by Ben Gilpin @benjamin
2. Leadership Tips by Justin Tarte @justintarte
Currently Reading: Shifting the Monkey by Todd Whitaker @toddwhitaker