Monday, August 26, 2013

Trust

While walking my dog the other day, I thought about how I've been blessed to be surrounded by kind people. My parents. Teachers I had. My husband. My kids. My friends. My brother (both now and growing up). Even my mother-in-law (some folks seem to really strike out in this department by the sound of it). So when I hear stories, particularly stories involving kids and teens, about people who are not surrounded by kind people, my heart dies a little.

Sixteen school-years ago, I began teaching English at a large suburban high school. I no longer teach there, but on that first day of teacher workshops sixteen school-years ago, the principal spoke to us. And one thing he said has stuck with me all these years. He said that if each student had one adult in the building who they trusted and felt connected to, the chances of that student's success increased dramatically. I'm sure he had all kinds of charts and graphs and statistics and evidence to support his statement, but I was still here:

Each student.
Trust.
One adult.

You mean, that's all it takes to increase the success of today's students, those who become tomorrow's adults? Each student just needs one adult in the building they trust? Wow. Supportive parents, a wealthy school district, low-crime areas, healthy meals, enough sleep -- these things help beyond measure -- but if a kid or teen doesn't have those things (or other really helpful things), all they need is to trust one adult in their school building.

And I think the trust starts with kindness and builds from there.

16 comments:

  1. Awesome that it stuck with you. And yes, you can't have trust without kindness.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an insightful philosophy for a principal to have, and encourage in his or her staff!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I start at my new school on Tuesday. Taking this with me. I believe it with every fibre of my being. Thanks for giving me the words to share what I know to be true!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's hard to think that some kids don't have an adult they could trust. Thanks for sharing this, it puts a new perspective on how I need to relate to the teenagers I interact with.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wish I had worked for that principal. I'll bet a lot of kids trusted him.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What an inspiring thought! And what a great principal. Thanks for sharing this with us, Barbara.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Carolina_Valdez_MillerAugust 27, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    This seems particularly poignant after the whole VMA debacle. My heart breaks for those who have no proper guidance or support in their lives. I was a lost girl, Barbara. But always, through it all, I had my mom who loved me and treasured me. I know that has made all the difference. It only takes one. I love this.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great quote! Thanks for sharing Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow. I got chills reading that. It really gives a new perspective. Thanks so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How important that is, but I never realized the essence of it until this post. Thanks Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
  11. A great thing to remember. I'm a former teacher, but it works out of the classroom as well. One person to trust can make all the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I realized I need to do several things before impossible. I also work in the school. thanks for your article

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's very interesting. What a great quote! Thanks for sharing Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Trust is the most important thing in a relationship, right? I think trust is a prerequisite for all problem

    ReplyDelete
  15. The trust and what we can do for their lives and their relationships better.

    ReplyDelete