Kids need supportive adults in their lives

Supportive teacher

Kids need supportive adults in their lives

Did you ever have a teacher when you were growing up who felt like a different kind of parent, a second parent or a wise older sibling?

When I was growing up I was at the dance studio nearly every day. I got to know my teacher so well over the years that it did feel like going to my second home. She was always interested to hear about what else was going on in my life and how I was going at school. She also had a great relationship with my Mum, who was often involved in concert planning and helping getting kids to exams. 

In addition to my teacher’s interest in my life, she also had boundaries. I couldn’t get away with much more than what I could at home. I think this is what made it feel like home, and a safe place.

I see my own kids experiencing something quite similar in the relationships they are developing with Speak Up teachers.  They care a great deal about each student and who are interested in the lives and well-being of each of them. 

Speak Up teachers approach a conversation with my kids with more patience and interest than I can muster when I am in the middle of the school pick up/after school activity drop off carousal. I am always grateful, that someone else can share in giving them the attention they need and deserve.

My kids look up to these teachers, They are inspired by their confidence, their passion and their energy. These teachers are fabulous role models for my children. They demonstrate beautifully how to view the world and approach life as a young adult.

Lisa Damour, a clinical psychologist who works with adolescent girls and is the author of “Under Pressure” and “Untangled”, says “Good schools understand that you’re not going to educate a child well unless you’re supporting the whole child. It makes sense that teachers develop appropriate and supportive relationships with students that go beyond the class work.”

Research shows that when children have strong relationships with caring adults, they are more likely to be engaged at school and more motivated to succeed academically. This sounds good right? You can read more about this here.

In Julia Freeland Fisher and Daniel Fisher’s book, Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations That Expand Students’ Networks, they present research that found that meaningful relationships share five critical aspects that help students thrive

  • adults showing students they care about them
  • challenging them to become their best selves
  • providing ongoing support
  • sharing power and showing respect, and 
  • expanding their sense of possibilities and opportunities.

These are all qualities Speak Up looks for when hiring teachers.

“I keep hearing it takes a village to raise a child. Do they just show up? Or is there like, a number to call?”

Kids need helpful adults in their lives who they can turn to when talking to a parent doesn’t feel like the nicest option. They need people who they might more readily open up to. They need adults they can call for help if they need to. Hopefully they won’t need to. But it’s nice to know there’s that option.

Having a village to raise your children doesn’t quite look like what it used to, but we can find ways to create one that supports us in different ways. 

Ensuring your kids are developing meaningful relationships with other adults outside of the home is going to be important for their development and their success in school, academically, socially and psychologically. 

~ Amy

Find out about drama classes with a supportive team of teachers on our classes page.