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Strong relationships improve behaviour and transform schools

Holly Hartley, Principal at Thistley Hough Academy, a Creative Education Trust, school in Stoke-on-Trent, was asked by Schools Week to write about ‘When the Adults Change, Everything Changes: Seismic Shifts in School Behaviour’ by Paul Dix. More than just a book review, Holly shared her insights on what it takes to build strong relationships and how to transform a challenging school.

An excerpt from Holly’s article:

When the Adults Change, Everything Changes: Seismic Shifts in School Behaviour
Relationships matter. People matter. As educators, we are not dealing with faceless statistics, we are dealing with brilliant, funny, smart, infuriating, imperfect human beings. Hundreds of them, every day. People respond best to people, not to rules, and our pupils are no exception.

We take it for granted that we all do what we do because we genuinely care about improving the lives of the young people in our schools. However, how often do we say it – to ourselves, or to others? How often do we show it? This book reminded me that we should all say it, loudly and regularly.

I found myself nodding so much in agreement at Paul Dix’s notion of “deliberate botheredness” that I almost gave myself whiplash. It is not enough for you to know that you care; you have to show it. Even when faced by silence, blank faces, or eye-rolls, we need to go out of our way to show our young people that we care about them and their success and wellbeing.

You can read the full piece on the Schools Week website.