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The 3R’s of Middle Years Education:
Relationship, Relationship and Relationship
DAVID WILCOX
Participating Today
padlet.com/davidw/iqsx5ig6wgxk
bit.ly/2mbrS5s
Overview
Why Relationships
The Adolescent Brain
The Contextualised you, me and them
Classroom strategies – sharing experiences
How to get it wrong
Action planning
Foundational Premise
As Middle Years educators, everything we do
will be shaped by the quality of the
relationships we build with our young
adolescent learners.
As we build relationships that are founded on trust, care,
and mutual respect, we will find that our students will
follow us anywhere – into better learning, better behviour
choices, better life choices…
The Contextualised Me
Christian Outreach College Toowoomba
Because life can’t be too busy (apparently)…
Some of my greatest achievements (and best professional learning)
Why Relationships?
Culture & Community
Every student’s academic and
personal development is
guided by an adult advocate
The Power of Relationship
"Time and again I asked the students who their role models
were and who influenced their view of what makes a good man,
and almost always they ... made a very definite distinction
between men they admired and those they actually wanted to
be like and were very clear in their assertions that they needed
to know a man personally before they could decide whether he
merited being described as a good man."
…they identified three distinct groups of men…
"There were the men who had access to what the students
might want in later life [and] the men who had achieved
excellence in their particular field of interest; and the men they
might actually want to be like…
"These [the third group] were the men they knew personally,
the men they actually aspired to be like. In this group were their
grandfathers, their uncles, their older brothers, their teachers
and their coaches, and on rare occasions, their fathers.
A Teacher on Our Side
From their new perspective as adolescents, students in the
middle grades begin to watch their teachers in new ways.
They notice every little thing about who you are, what you
do, and how you do it.
They are always assessing what they see: Do they trust you,
or not? Do they want to be like you, or not? Do you respect
them, or not? Are you on their side, or not?
A Teacher on Our Side
“A lot of kids don’t have anybody to look up to. Somebody
that you know – to follow in their footsteps, to learn from
their mistakes, or just to help out – it’s really hard without
that. Teachers can be like that, but a lot of teachers aren’t.
They teach you social studies, and just that. They don’t find
that special bond or connection with you.” Alma
“She was real down to earth, really talkative, but she was
also very… ‘teachative’ – I don’t know what word. She was
very smart. She’d teach you. She’d try with you until you got
it, and she was real nice. She’d offer to stay after school, so
you could go there if you didn’t get it” Martin
Engaging the Middle Years Student
[Adolescence is] a period when students’ motivation and
engagement decline… The causes of alienation are
multifaceted and complex. However… literature
consistently reported several predictors… that need to be
considered to improve student motivation and engagement,
including:
… Student-Teacher relationships – Supportive relationships
that involve positive interactions with students are
important for students to feel challenged and motivated.
…Positive student-teacher relationships were significantly
and positively correlated with both engagement and
achievement, with engagement being the stronger
association.
Gibbs & Poskitt Literary Review (NZ)
Factors that influence student engagement
Katherine Main and Donna Pendergaast have adapted
Gibbs & Poskitt’s review, listing the following as having
“strong and compelling” evidence of a positive effect:
1. Relationships with teachers and other students
2. Motivation and interest in learning
3. Goal orientation
4. Academic self regulation
5. Self efficacy
Adolescent Connectedness
This theory of connectedness builds on two important principles from the
world of self-psychology. The first principle is that self-development, our
growth as people, is dependent on the experience of receiving attention,
praise, and empathy in our personal relationships. These experiences
validate our sense of self.
The second principle is the experience of being in a relationship with
someone we admire, someone we view as “competent, protecting, and
consistent.” When these two experiences are combined—when someone
we view as significant in our lives provides us with attention, praise, and
empathy—it increases our ability to do this for ourselves. In this way,
young people learn to praise and value them- selves, with the positive
social interactions leading to positive internal changes. This is a critical
aspect of the development of self in all young people
(Karcher, 2005).
The Role of Adolescent Connectedness in Demonstrating Mentoring Impact (US Department of Education
Mentoring Resource Centre, CA)
The Value In Mentoring Our Youth
By introducing youth to new experiences and sharing positive
values, mentors can help young people avoid negative
behaviours and achieve success. For example:
59 percent of mentored teenagers earn better grades.
27 percent of mentored youth are less likely to begin using
alcohol.
52 percent of mentored youth are less likely to skip school.
Youth with mentors have increased likelihood of going to
college, better attitudes toward school, increased social and
emotional development, and improved self-esteem.
Arly Nguyen
Socialworklicencemap.com
Supporting Mental Health
In just the five years between 2010 and 2015, the number of U.S. teens
who felt useless and joyless – classic symptoms of depression – surged
33 percent in large national surveys. Teen suicide attempts increased
23 percent. Even more troubling, the number of 13- to 18-year-olds
who committed suicide jumped 31 percent.
All told, our analysis found that the generation of teens I call “iGen” –
those born after 1995 – is much more likely to experience mental
health issues than their millennial predecessors.
Jean Twenge theconversation.com
Over 4 million Australians experience mental health issues every year
Government to invest$100 million (Teacher training to start in 2018)
Positive relationships create an environment for appropriate disclosure
and support
Relationship and the
Adolescent Brain
https://aspergersmom.files.wordpress.com/
2013/04/teenagebrain2.jpg
Teen Brain Change a quick overview
Significant changes
Pre-frontal cortex (reasoning, thinking) undergoes enormous
development resulting in for emotive, less rational decisions
Use it or lose it: Synaptic pruning of that which is not being
used and myelination of that which is used (hardwiring)
Reduced ability to accurately read emotions (eg. Confuse
anxiety and fear). Altered perceptions.
Positive relationships can reduce the confusion, mentoring through
change.
Healthy activities become hardwired for life, become lifelong traits.
Relationships can become the impetus of these healthy activity choices.
The Relationship-shaped Brain
…the more complex our social lives, the more complex our
brains.
…Now comes another amazing twist to the story. As our brains
[take] on the need to connect to others, we developed the neural
real estate to examine our own sense of identity.
Dr Dan Siegel
The Chemistry of Relationship
The brain has a reward center within the limbic system. The limbic
system is the control center for emotional responses and controls
the release of a chemical substance produced by the body
called dopamine. Dopamine makes us feel good, even euphoric.
Gregory J. Janitz
Our attachments to others can help keep us healthy and calm.
Research has shown that the release of stress hormones and
decreased immune function are correlated with distressed
relationships, while better health and resistance to stress are
correlated with nurturing relationships.
Attachment on a biological level makes us feel good physically
when we interact with someone we find nurturing and supportive.
Russell Phillips
Who am I, Who are They?
Relationships are based on a knowledge of self and of the other
The Contextualised Me
Who do my kids see?
Australian
Christian Outreach College Toowoomba
Adolescent Success
Voice FM
3 + 1 + 1 kids
Drilling deeper…
Drilling deeper…
And a bit deeper…
Male
Married with children
A Cusper – Baby Boomer / Gen X
Attended several school, lived in small communities
Lived away from parents to complete school
A teacher who loves his job
Experienced loss
Someone who believes he can make a difference (if only for one)
The Contextualised You
Take a moment to note…
Be self-evaluative
What is your Why? As a teacher, as an individual, in your school
community?
What are your skills, talents, abilities, experiences, likes, dislikes…
◦ everything you do should be considered professional development.
Some people I know
The Power of Words
Strengthen your Why
Laszlo Bock (past Senior VP of People at Google):
◦ Find out why you are doing what you are doing
◦ Write it down
◦ Visit it often
◦ Tell others about it
◦ Talk to the beneficiaries of your work
◦ Life is hard, brutal and distracting so be reminded and refreshed
often.
Know your students
Love Languages
Online or paper profiler
Myers Briggs
16 personality types – help to create understanding of self and others
Find online test suitable for teens
I am ISFJ –
Introversion (I), Sensing (S),
Feeling (F), Judgment (J)
Classroom Strategies - Pedagogy
Classroom Strategies - Culture
Classroom Strategies - Behaviour
…we will be most effecting when we are ‘proximate’ with others - we
need to get into the hard places in life and help people feel that we are
supporting them. There is power in proximity. We discover that we
don’t need an answer because the answer comes from our proximity to
the one with this problem. Hopefulness is essential but it takes courage
to remain hopeful in some situations [with some kids] and we are often
called to do the uncomfortable things [love the unlovable kids].
Bryan Stevenson (Director of Equal Justice Initiative)
Classroom Strategies - Pastoral
How to get it wrong…
•Friend vs mentor relationship
•Acting out of own neediness. Be the adult not the teen-wannabe
•Sarcasm
•Ingenuine relationship (you can’t fake it until you make it with teens)
•Favouritism (perceived or real)
•Expecting you’ll be the most significant voice in their world.
How to get it wrong…
•Use your mouth more than your ears
•Rush and don’t give time.
•Be the Mumma bear with no teeth
•Presume your role is giving feedback. This will be seen as a threat. Your
role is to coach and be supportive (for it will be seen that way).
•Inconsistency. Sometimes you need to play the role of the relational
teacher when you least want to
•Forget that kids change, especially during adolescence
My action list
Be myself. Be real.
Know myself. Develop myself (deep and wide)
Smile, joke, laugh, greet
Love my students
Know my students, ask about them, learn about them
Know the adolescent zeitgeist
Be a model. Be a mentor. Be a voice.
Be passionate about life and learning
Help students feel safe
Have routines
Be present, attentive, engaged, challenging, demanding
Give them time
Trust them and be trustworthy
Action Plan
Continue the conversation
davidw@coct.qld.edu.au

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The 3R's - David Wilcox - AMLE Hawaii

  • 1. The 3R’s of Middle Years Education: Relationship, Relationship and Relationship DAVID WILCOX
  • 3. Overview Why Relationships The Adolescent Brain The Contextualised you, me and them Classroom strategies – sharing experiences How to get it wrong Action planning
  • 4. Foundational Premise As Middle Years educators, everything we do will be shaped by the quality of the relationships we build with our young adolescent learners. As we build relationships that are founded on trust, care, and mutual respect, we will find that our students will follow us anywhere – into better learning, better behviour choices, better life choices…
  • 7. Because life can’t be too busy (apparently)…
  • 8. Some of my greatest achievements (and best professional learning)
  • 10. Culture & Community Every student’s academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
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  • 13. The Power of Relationship "Time and again I asked the students who their role models were and who influenced their view of what makes a good man, and almost always they ... made a very definite distinction between men they admired and those they actually wanted to be like and were very clear in their assertions that they needed to know a man personally before they could decide whether he merited being described as a good man." …they identified three distinct groups of men… "There were the men who had access to what the students might want in later life [and] the men who had achieved excellence in their particular field of interest; and the men they might actually want to be like… "These [the third group] were the men they knew personally, the men they actually aspired to be like. In this group were their grandfathers, their uncles, their older brothers, their teachers and their coaches, and on rare occasions, their fathers.
  • 14. A Teacher on Our Side From their new perspective as adolescents, students in the middle grades begin to watch their teachers in new ways. They notice every little thing about who you are, what you do, and how you do it. They are always assessing what they see: Do they trust you, or not? Do they want to be like you, or not? Do you respect them, or not? Are you on their side, or not?
  • 15. A Teacher on Our Side “A lot of kids don’t have anybody to look up to. Somebody that you know – to follow in their footsteps, to learn from their mistakes, or just to help out – it’s really hard without that. Teachers can be like that, but a lot of teachers aren’t. They teach you social studies, and just that. They don’t find that special bond or connection with you.” Alma “She was real down to earth, really talkative, but she was also very… ‘teachative’ – I don’t know what word. She was very smart. She’d teach you. She’d try with you until you got it, and she was real nice. She’d offer to stay after school, so you could go there if you didn’t get it” Martin
  • 16. Engaging the Middle Years Student [Adolescence is] a period when students’ motivation and engagement decline… The causes of alienation are multifaceted and complex. However… literature consistently reported several predictors… that need to be considered to improve student motivation and engagement, including: … Student-Teacher relationships – Supportive relationships that involve positive interactions with students are important for students to feel challenged and motivated. …Positive student-teacher relationships were significantly and positively correlated with both engagement and achievement, with engagement being the stronger association.
  • 17. Gibbs & Poskitt Literary Review (NZ) Factors that influence student engagement
  • 18. Katherine Main and Donna Pendergaast have adapted Gibbs & Poskitt’s review, listing the following as having “strong and compelling” evidence of a positive effect: 1. Relationships with teachers and other students 2. Motivation and interest in learning 3. Goal orientation 4. Academic self regulation 5. Self efficacy
  • 19. Adolescent Connectedness This theory of connectedness builds on two important principles from the world of self-psychology. The first principle is that self-development, our growth as people, is dependent on the experience of receiving attention, praise, and empathy in our personal relationships. These experiences validate our sense of self. The second principle is the experience of being in a relationship with someone we admire, someone we view as “competent, protecting, and consistent.” When these two experiences are combined—when someone we view as significant in our lives provides us with attention, praise, and empathy—it increases our ability to do this for ourselves. In this way, young people learn to praise and value them- selves, with the positive social interactions leading to positive internal changes. This is a critical aspect of the development of self in all young people (Karcher, 2005). The Role of Adolescent Connectedness in Demonstrating Mentoring Impact (US Department of Education Mentoring Resource Centre, CA)
  • 20. The Value In Mentoring Our Youth By introducing youth to new experiences and sharing positive values, mentors can help young people avoid negative behaviours and achieve success. For example: 59 percent of mentored teenagers earn better grades. 27 percent of mentored youth are less likely to begin using alcohol. 52 percent of mentored youth are less likely to skip school. Youth with mentors have increased likelihood of going to college, better attitudes toward school, increased social and emotional development, and improved self-esteem. Arly Nguyen Socialworklicencemap.com
  • 21. Supporting Mental Health In just the five years between 2010 and 2015, the number of U.S. teens who felt useless and joyless – classic symptoms of depression – surged 33 percent in large national surveys. Teen suicide attempts increased 23 percent. Even more troubling, the number of 13- to 18-year-olds who committed suicide jumped 31 percent. All told, our analysis found that the generation of teens I call “iGen” – those born after 1995 – is much more likely to experience mental health issues than their millennial predecessors. Jean Twenge theconversation.com Over 4 million Australians experience mental health issues every year Government to invest$100 million (Teacher training to start in 2018) Positive relationships create an environment for appropriate disclosure and support
  • 22. Relationship and the Adolescent Brain https://aspergersmom.files.wordpress.com/ 2013/04/teenagebrain2.jpg
  • 23. Teen Brain Change a quick overview Significant changes Pre-frontal cortex (reasoning, thinking) undergoes enormous development resulting in for emotive, less rational decisions Use it or lose it: Synaptic pruning of that which is not being used and myelination of that which is used (hardwiring) Reduced ability to accurately read emotions (eg. Confuse anxiety and fear). Altered perceptions. Positive relationships can reduce the confusion, mentoring through change. Healthy activities become hardwired for life, become lifelong traits. Relationships can become the impetus of these healthy activity choices.
  • 24. The Relationship-shaped Brain …the more complex our social lives, the more complex our brains. …Now comes another amazing twist to the story. As our brains [take] on the need to connect to others, we developed the neural real estate to examine our own sense of identity. Dr Dan Siegel
  • 25. The Chemistry of Relationship The brain has a reward center within the limbic system. The limbic system is the control center for emotional responses and controls the release of a chemical substance produced by the body called dopamine. Dopamine makes us feel good, even euphoric. Gregory J. Janitz Our attachments to others can help keep us healthy and calm. Research has shown that the release of stress hormones and decreased immune function are correlated with distressed relationships, while better health and resistance to stress are correlated with nurturing relationships. Attachment on a biological level makes us feel good physically when we interact with someone we find nurturing and supportive. Russell Phillips
  • 26. Who am I, Who are They? Relationships are based on a knowledge of self and of the other
  • 27. The Contextualised Me Who do my kids see? Australian Christian Outreach College Toowoomba Adolescent Success Voice FM 3 + 1 + 1 kids
  • 30. And a bit deeper… Male Married with children A Cusper – Baby Boomer / Gen X Attended several school, lived in small communities Lived away from parents to complete school A teacher who loves his job Experienced loss Someone who believes he can make a difference (if only for one)
  • 31. The Contextualised You Take a moment to note… Be self-evaluative What is your Why? As a teacher, as an individual, in your school community? What are your skills, talents, abilities, experiences, likes, dislikes… ◦ everything you do should be considered professional development.
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  • 34. The Power of Words
  • 35. Strengthen your Why Laszlo Bock (past Senior VP of People at Google): ◦ Find out why you are doing what you are doing ◦ Write it down ◦ Visit it often ◦ Tell others about it ◦ Talk to the beneficiaries of your work ◦ Life is hard, brutal and distracting so be reminded and refreshed often.
  • 38. Online or paper profiler
  • 39. Myers Briggs 16 personality types – help to create understanding of self and others Find online test suitable for teens I am ISFJ – Introversion (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), Judgment (J)
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  • 45. Classroom Strategies - Behaviour …we will be most effecting when we are ‘proximate’ with others - we need to get into the hard places in life and help people feel that we are supporting them. There is power in proximity. We discover that we don’t need an answer because the answer comes from our proximity to the one with this problem. Hopefulness is essential but it takes courage to remain hopeful in some situations [with some kids] and we are often called to do the uncomfortable things [love the unlovable kids]. Bryan Stevenson (Director of Equal Justice Initiative)
  • 47. How to get it wrong… •Friend vs mentor relationship •Acting out of own neediness. Be the adult not the teen-wannabe •Sarcasm •Ingenuine relationship (you can’t fake it until you make it with teens) •Favouritism (perceived or real) •Expecting you’ll be the most significant voice in their world.
  • 48. How to get it wrong… •Use your mouth more than your ears •Rush and don’t give time. •Be the Mumma bear with no teeth •Presume your role is giving feedback. This will be seen as a threat. Your role is to coach and be supportive (for it will be seen that way). •Inconsistency. Sometimes you need to play the role of the relational teacher when you least want to •Forget that kids change, especially during adolescence
  • 49. My action list Be myself. Be real. Know myself. Develop myself (deep and wide) Smile, joke, laugh, greet Love my students Know my students, ask about them, learn about them Know the adolescent zeitgeist Be a model. Be a mentor. Be a voice. Be passionate about life and learning Help students feel safe Have routines Be present, attentive, engaged, challenging, demanding Give them time Trust them and be trustworthy

Editor's Notes

  1. Shared note taking Will be times when I throw a bunch of research at you – QR codes on the page will allow you to access this research so you can do further reading later.