Phoenix is my small brown brumby from Mount Kosciuszko who is currently very round from eating too much grass. Over the last two years together we have been learning to ride, changing from wild brumby to being able to have weekend paddock rides with me. The thing about Phoenix is that before he lets me ride him, I must spend time cleaning the burs from his mane, rubbing his neck and generally hanging out before asking him to follow my commands when riding.
Like Phoenix, students always achieve more when they are known, appreciated and given time to be themselves with their teacher. PCS is a smaller school than most and because of this teachers have the ability to know the interests and motivations of each of their students.
Last week one student’s special interest goal was achieved. I had known this goal for sometime, and had appreciated the students desire to fulfill and grasp it. Last week the moment had arrived…… they were officially taller than Mrs Harris!
Great discussion and laughter of purchasing new boots with taller heels ensued but the students’ response was ‘Yes, but Mrs Harris you will know that I am and will always be taller than you now!’
This instance was a fun Phoenix moment, hanging out being known and valued.
Instances like that happen each day, in every classroom with each teacher and student. From these collective moments students feel known and valued, which creates the readiness to learn and follow instructions to new skills and tasks with willing hearts and minds.
These instances allow the students to know their teacher’s pursuit is to support and help them, whether that is learning a new skill or explaining why that behaviour wasn’t the best choice to make. These instances build trust so students know the teachers value them and want the best for them.
PCS is a smaller school than most but it makes the school culture unique!