Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Authentic Relationships with Students

When students are asked about a teacher who has made a difference they mention that this teacher was not just an instructor of academic skills but also someone who they knew cared about them. By providing protective factors for students teachers can develop these important authentic relationships with students.

The Search Institute has has identified 40 developmental assets--divided into external and internal-- that help students grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible. Teachers can address many of them:
  • External asset--support--caring school climate: Child experiences warm, welcoming relationships with teachers, caregivers, and peers at school.
  • External asset--empowerment--service to others: Child has opportunities to serve in the community with adult support and approval.
  • External asset--boundaries and expectations--school boundaries: Schools have clear, consistent rules and consequences and uses a positive approach to discipline.
  • External asset--boundaries and expectations--adult role models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior and encourage the child to follow these examples.
  • External asset--boundaries and expectations--high expectations: Parent(s), teachers, and other influential adults encourage the child to do her or his best in all tasks and celebrate their successes.
  • External asset--constructive use of time--child programs: Child participates weekly in at least one sport, club, or organization within the school or community.
  • Internal asset--commitment to learning--learning engagement: Child is enthused about learning and going to school.
  • Internal asset--commitment to learning--bonding to school: Child is encouraged to have and feels a sense of belonging at school.
  • Internal asset--social competencies--cultural competence: Child continues to learn about her or his own culture identity and is encouraged to interact positively with children of different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Internal asset--positive identity--self-esteem: Child likes herself or himself and feels valued by others.

For more information on the 40 assets, the 40 assets by age levels, a Spanish translation of the assets, and much more valuable information visit the website http://www.search-institute.org/

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