Creating positive, nurturing relationships in a family atmosphere


By Justin Cowan
Special to The SUN

When I think about the first two weeks of school, I think about positive, nurturing relationships and creating a family atmosphere.

Yes, there are “housekeeping” things we have to attend to — the handbook, creating our classroom expectations, procedures for lunch, buses to board and many other things that help facilitate logistics and learning in an organization — but the most important thing we do is building positive relationships. I think about a child making a new friend, an anxious parent who needs a teacher’s reassurance, staff welcoming back familiar faces and creating an atmosphere of safety and hospitality — and I am sure this is the work we must do. It is only through these relationships that we can best educate our children.

To this end, our staff is learning names, making connections, offering smiles, giving high fives and fist bumps, laughing with kids, getting hugs and noticing something unique about individuals.

We leave a legacy; my goal is it is a positive legacy. We value this idea of relationship-building so much that it is embedded in our master schedule.

Each student is assigned to an advisory period where they can connect with one teacher each day and be given a little extra attention, learn teamwork and build relational skills through our Leader in Me and Seven Habits for Highly Effective People curriculums.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.