Every year, students begin the first day of school with fresh school supplies, new backpacks, and a little anxiety. They hope to make friends, be welcomed by their teachers, and create essential connections that will help them to feel safe and secure. Although every child is different, in many ways, they are all the same. At the end of the day, they all want to be accepted. At the end of the day, they all want to be loved.
A Harvard study supports what parents already know. Having friends and strong relationships makes a big difference in our lives. How big? According to the study that began in 1938, “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year-old student is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” This does not seem like rocket science, but it is one of the defining factors of living a happy and prosperous life. It’s one of the reasons that we, as a district, are so passionate about fostering the importance of relationships and nurturing that mindset as part of the Wylie Way.
Helping our kids learn and grow to be happy, healthy, and hopeful adults includes helping them to cultivate positive relationships, the Wylie Way. We take this role very seriously, and we have created strategies to foster positive relationships between our kids, our teachers, and the families we serve. To us, this is some of the most important work that we do each and every day. Our Wylie family matters to us, and we want to do all we can to help our community members live long and prosperous lives.
FOSTERING POSITIVE TEACHER & STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS
Building strong relationships with students is vital to their achievement. Our collective goal in Wylie ISD is that every student will have a meaningful relationship with at least one adult on campus. Research finds that students who feel connected are more hopeful, more engaged, have better attendance, have better grades, and have fewer discipline referrals. The Wylie Way works because this is our highest priority. We have several different ways to intentionally grow relationships. We measure progress, and we work to use data to guide decisions. Three times per year, Wylie ISD surveys students in grades 5-12. Hearing from our children helps us to know if we are providing them with what they need. Their voices matter.
We believe that the relationships between teachers and students are so important that we have dedicated Wednesday, December 8, as “Relationships Day” in Wylie ISD. On that day, teachers will take time to let students know that they can count on them and that we are here for more than academics. We cheer for your kids, and through these positive relationships, we guide them down the path of achievement and help them to grow. We want to share a few ways you can help your child:
- Please take some time to talk with your child about their relationships with their teachers.
- Be sure to let your teachers know just how much they mean to you and your child.
- Please consider listening to our Achieving Kids podcast. In some of our previous episodes, child psychologist Dr. Kelly Jameson shares her expertise and tips on how parents can strengthen their relationships with their kids.
When children come to school in Wylie ISD, we want them to know that they are loved and supported. We know that the value of an experience is wrapped in the relationships we build during the journey, and every Wylie ISD student is part of that story. Working together, we can build strong relationships with students, teachers, parents, and community members. We are grateful for the role that you play in supporting this work, and we value all that you do to help us grow students who are happy and hopeful. We look forward to continuing this work, and we look forward to continuing to guide students the Wylie Way.