Unit 2: Trust with Colleagues

I think we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. —Henry David Thoreau

Objectives

In this unit you’ll hear about some of the research-based emotional, social, and professional benefits of building high levels of trust in schools. Then you’ll explore six trust-building routines, make a plan to try out one or two with colleagues you don’t know well, and choose one or two to recommend that your learning community implement.

Time Estimate

  • Approximately 1.5 hours

  • 7 individual microlearnings

  • 1 learning community meeting

INDIVIDUAL MICROLEARNING FOR STAFF 

Short, focused, targeted activities for busy educators 

There Was This Teacher...

For Staff

You’ll explore the importance of building trust in teacher-student relationships—for both the students and the teacher—by examining the story of a student who initially struggled to trust the adults at his school, but eventually felt seen, heard, and supported because his teachers refused to give up on him. You’ll also hear some alarming statistics about kids who feel lonely, disconnected from school, and unsure their teachers care about them, and think about how the statistics might apply to your own students.

10 min.

Banking Time

For Staff

You’ll learn a routine that involves taking intentional time out to learn more about individual students’ lives beyond the classroom in order to build trust and communicate to students that you want to know them, you’re there for them, and you care about them. You’ll also recall the students from the last microlearning who you thought might be lonely or feel disconnected and consider what it might look like to use this trust routine with them. 

10 min.

Warm Welcome

For Staff

You’ll learn a daily welcoming routine that involves greeting every student and hear how it contributes to a positive culture of trust. Then you’ll picture greeting every single one of your own students and consider what effect the routine would have at your school, particularly on students who tend to draw less attention than others.

10 min.

About Us Community Wall

For Staff

You’ll learn a trust-building routine for creating an About Us Community Wall, which helps you provide time and space for you and your students to learn about each other’s lives outside the classroom. You’ll consider which of your students struggle to make personal connections with their peers or with you and how this routine might help. You’ll also think about what kinds of information you’re willing to share with students that would help foster personal connections.

10 min.

Community Circle

For Staff

You’ll learn a trust routine for creating a structured time and place for you and your students to check in, share how you’re feeling, discuss issues or problems, and learn about each other. As you explore this routine, you’ll picture students who struggle to find things in common with their peers or don’t know how to start conversations easily, and think about how this daily practice might help them feel like part of a community.

10 min.

Personal Notes to Students
For Staff

You’ll consider how recognizing and celebrating the good things students do can create a virtuous cycle of connectedness and belonging in the classroom, and learn a trust routine for giving students positive feedback in Personal Notes. You’ll think about students in your class you who suspect haven’t been given much positive feedback in or outside of school, consider the kinds of communication these kids are accustomed to getting from school, and imagine how they might react if they received a Personal Note from you on their desk or in the mail after you “caught” them doing something right.

10 min.

Prep for your Learning Community
For Staff

You’ll prepare for your learning community session by reviewing the trust routines you’ve learned and determining which one(s) you’d like to discuss with your peers and what questions you have about modifying or adapting them to meet your students’ needs. You’ll also think about two or three key things that stand out for you from the work on trust you’ve done in this module, and one thing you’re doing differently as a result of this focus on trust.

10 min.

SMALL-GROUP LEARNING FOR STAFF‚Äč

Projector needed

Make Your Move
For Staff

You’ll discuss your reactions to the student trust routines and which routines you’d like to try in the classroom, and then help each other modify routines for your students’ needs if necessary. You’ll also talk about what key things you’ve learned about trust during this module and what you’re doing differently as a result of what you’ve learned.

30 min.

© 2020 Committee for Children