Question of the Day: “What place does trust have in Education?”

Right before the Thanksgiving holiday, my building had an in-service training where they talked about trust. My school is working on creating better relationships between students and teachers. We are being asked to understand student diversity and respect students. It is important work, and the entire event started by asking us about trust.

First, we were asked about how we would define trust and where do we feel we use trust the most. I have struggled the most with trust in my romantic relationships, but I have really never had a problem with trust in my classroom. I trust my students. I am not one of those teachers who is constantly trying to catch them or accuse them. Maybe I was one of those when I was a younger teacher. Nowadays, I spend a lot of time working to get my students to trust me. I work really hard to form connections and display various levels of communication and understanding, especially when students are having a difficult time. But here we were talking as teachers and to each other about the way we trust and how we value trust, and I felt really uncomfortable, which was compounded because as we started to speak as teachers, a small group of four, one of our administrators sat down.

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As we each shared our individual thoughts about trust and its role in our lives, I was so nervous. I felt terribly uncomfortable with his being a part of our group. I could not help but wonder what he was thinking. Was he judging me? Why did he sit with our group? Why did I just say that? It wasn’t until he started to share that I was pulled out of these thoughts. He talked about the distrust he felt for teachers, and he also spoke about how he recognized that teachers did not trust him.

The entire conversation really got me thinking.

First of all, as a teacher, I do not trust administrators. My fellow teachers and I joke about them having to give up their souls to become administrators. I can also feel that they do not trust us. It makes sense, but unfortunately, this divide is never going to be beneficial for either party or students.

How can teachers trust administrators when they have the authority and ability to tell us what to do? How can administrators trust us when they have the responsibility and risk of telling us what to do?

it is the same dynamic between students and teachers.

And it seems as if no one in any party feels as if they are being heard.

Trust requires vulnerability. Trust requires listening. Trust requires a person to soften into the moment and let a person influence how they feel, not through brute strength, but because of love.

There is not a lot of this going on in education right now.

Love and Light!

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