My job this year has been a tedious one, introducing a standards-based report card, going 1:1 corporation wide, and helping all of our teachers learn the ins and outs of a new learning management system. It's been pure craziness. Lots of frustration...but nothing like the frustration of losing a young woman far too soon.
My job is all about technology, but I am also an instructional coach for classroom climate and culture, and in these last days I've been thinking about what is most important in our classrooms...what is the foundation of it all for our students? I am convinced it is not technology, nor curriculum--it is relationship. If we build relationships with our students (and our colleagues,) we have the best chance in achieving success in all other areas of academia. Once we commit to this, amazing things begin to happen.
Mattea, my young friend that has passed too soon, was a student I had built relationship with--it is the reason why 6 years later, the loss hits me hard. In building a relationship with her, I saw how she went on to build relationships with others, and I believe she saw the importance in this, too. She was doing great things because of her ability to reach out and form meaningful relationships that supported what she was set out to do.
What we do as educators is important. We must have a vision to move forward. To help students excel at this thing we call life. Today I would ask you to remember that relationship is the foundation of it all. That in the end, it will be those interactions we will have had with others, not the tech or curriculum, that will always be--the most important thing.