Radically Reimagined Relationships.
It’s no secret that positive, respectful relationships between teachers and students improve student engagement and achievement. Though this is true, we encourage educators and school communities to think about relationships in a broader and deeper way, one that engages administrators, teachers, other staff members, students, and their families in profoundly different kinds of interactions with one another.
For nearly two decades, Astra has brought a relationship-based stance into its work with young children and families.
Through our Center for innovative education
we are moving that work into K-12 education, recognizing that deep and authentic connections with others, appreciation for each person’s humanity and individual differences, and a desire to help students thrive are goals that apply to work with all people of all ages.
from that stance,
we began partnering with like-minded organizations and exploring ways to advocate for learning environments that embrace these core principles. In 2018-19, with the Center for Inspired Teaching, we toured schools across the country, and noticed something striking. We found that some school communities were taking great care to cultivate and sustain strong relationships among all members of the school community, with an intentionality that influenced everything from daily schedules to curriculum to how success was measured, and by whom. Adults and students alike shared a sense of purpose and expressed feelings of trust and empowerment. These schools have made a deep commitment to what we’re calling “Radically Reimagined Relationships.”
What we further observed
was that when schools were carefully attending to this relational work -- that is, when schools were striving for Radically Reimagined Relationships -- fertile ground was created for the academic work of the school, manifested in more authentic learning experiences, safety for risk-taking, and more meaningful and just outcomes for students, staff, and families.
We continue to further our learning and expand our thinking through research and study, school visits, and networking.
We are developing a set of resources, to be available soon, to help serve school staff, students, and families who wish to delve further into this important relational work. We also curate a library of links to other helpful articles, research, videos, and podcasts.