Building Relationships

“Great idea, but we don’t have the budget . . .”

“That would be great for our students, but we don’t have the personnel to make it operational . . . ”

“If only we could  . . . ”

How many times have these statements been uttered in schools and districts across our nation in recent years?  Certainly within the last two years, budgetary restrictions have created headaches and heartaches for local education agencies, administrators, and classroom teachers.  No money for continuing programs.  No money for additional resources.  No money for professional development.  No money for student services.  Until the budgetary crisis is resolved, how do we address the problems at hand?  Building Relationships!

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Actually, it isn’t as simple as it may seem at first.  However, developing long-term meaningful relationships with the community surrounding the school – not only as a financial partner, but as an educational partner – can generate tremendous benefits. Build relationships with church communities, businesses, and charitable organizations that can support students, parents, teachers, and the school community with their money, time, or other resources.  Build relationships with other school districts to share costs and better utilize resources.  Build relationships within your own district to utilize the untapped resources that you already have.  So many of the problems that we see in education could be solved if we learn to think outside the boundaries of our attendance zones . . . outside the box . . . beyond the classroom!


2 responses to “Building Relationships

  1. chris

    October 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Unfortunately so many districts are close-hold with their resources and even their curriculum ideas. How to get them to cooperate with each other would almost require a congressional mandate (at the state level of course)…The local communities are usually very supportive, but as districts we need to do a better job of communicating our needs.

    • beyondclassrooms

      October 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Agreed. Building relationships often begins at the campus level. Success breeds success. When a campus begins to build relationships with its local community through a local organization such as a church, retired teacher organization, or other civic organization and the campus success grows, the district will take notice. Others will model what your campus is doing. Sometimes you will need to begin on an even smaller level – an elementary grade level team, a middle school department team, or high school department team. Again, success breeds success.

      At a time when education budgets across the nation have been slashed and teachers are simply stretched to their limits, we must all seek out alternatives that will help us better meet the needs of our students in a more productive way. Allowing other willing adults within our own communities to assist us is one way to work around budget restrictions. The more we share our concerns and possible solutions, the more our students will benefit . . . in the classroom . . . and beyond.

      Thank you for sharing.


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