Trish

Hello, my name is Trish and I’m a freshman. I want to talk to you today about the importance of having strong relationships between students and adults in school. One of the challenges at my school is that guidance is overworked. It seems like they are always swamped, so when students need an appointment, they usually have to wait until its too late. Or we’ll make an appointment like we’re supposed to, but have it cancelled so we have wait another week to talk to someone when we really need to talk to them that day. We can talk to our friends, but there are times when we really need guidance or some other adult to talk to. They not only help us to transition to high school and take care of academic things like schedules, but they also help us work through the times when we’re really stressed out or just having a bad day.

It would be nice to have more people in guidance, but reaching out to students doesn’t have to just be the responsibility of the guidance and adjustment counselors. It would be helpful if more of the teachers got involved. The teachers could be a good additional support to guidance because students see them all the time, and that could help lighten the load on guidance. The teachers could look out for when students need some additional support. If a student needs someone to talk to, teachers could be a good person for them to have because we see them every day.

It is vital for us to feel connected and have strong relationships with our teachers. If the teachers and students have a stronger personal bond, then it makes it easier for us to learn in class. Teachers are going to know more about why we might be having a bad day or having a hard time grasping a concept. My English teacher is known by a lot students to be really understanding. She knows how to support students, and even those who don’t have her as a teacher will still come to get help after school. But not all teachers are that way.

For teachers, being able to recognize the signs from students is really important. Teachers don’t always know how to respond to students having a difficult time in class. They might not understand our personal circumstances and needs at that particular moment. Students aren’t always willing to be open to adults who they don’t know very well. For a lot of us, it can take a long time to build the trust with a teacher so that we can tell them how we really feel. But, teachers are really busy and don’t always have the time to build personal relationships with students during the school day. They have to make time for meetings, write lesson plans, grade papers, all on top of teaching. For some teachers, they feel like they don’t have enough time to cover the curriculum, and it would be hard for them to take time out of class to spend on relationship-building. I think we could give teachers designated time during the day to check in on students and start forming closer relationships with them. That way, they aren’t stressed about having something else added to their schedule.

Having stronger relationships between students and teachers will increase the morale of the school, and make students and teachers more excited to come to school each day. This will spill over into better attendance and higher grades as well. After high school, I plan to attend a four-year college, and after I graduate land a job in the business or medical field. I know that to get to that point, I will need lots of support from my family and also my school. I hope you will vote for safe and supportive schools to make that happen.

Trish on Remote Learning

“It is vital for us to feel connected and have strong relationships with our teachers. If the teachers and students have a stronger personal bond, then it makes it easier for us to learn in class.”
—Trish

“Having stronger relationships between students and teachers will increase the morale of the school, and make students and teachers more excited to come to school each day. This will spill over into better attendance and higher grades as well.”
—Trish

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Trish was a member of the Haverhill High School VIP Program. Learn more about VIP and students’ advocacy here.

What other students are saying

Alice:

“For me, one of the most important parts of a safe and supportive school is that all the adults in the building understand how to care for and support all of the students.”  Read Alice’s statement

Chelsea:

“We all need and deserve access to positive relationships, a sense of well-being, community, and our own potential.” Read Chelsea’s statement

Chinyere:

“From our perspective, the academic levels create more division than unity, which impedes everyone’s learning.”  Read Chinyere’s statement

Chris:

“I feel like if more teachers understood our backgrounds, things would go better because teachers would know how to talk to students and have relationships with them.”   Read Chris’ statement

Corine:

“ I think adults at my school know what kinds of changes need to be made to help students succeed. But they can’t do it alone. They need help from the school system.” Read Corine’s statement

Taeyah:

“I knew that no matter what, he would be there to support me and would never give up on me. It was a small thing, but sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference.”  Read Taeyah’s statement

Gabriela:

“In order to make connections with the students, in order for them to feel supported like I did, ​you first have to hear them.”  Read Gabriela’s statement

Jaylee:

“If you have adult mentors at school encouraging you and reminding you that you have potential, you start to believe them.” Read Jaylee’s statement

Jonathan:

“Cooperation means learning faster. And when you and your teacher and your classmates are working together like this, it’s like a triangle of good.” Read Jonathan’s statement

Michelle:

“I believe that having all of our needs met would help us learn better and set us up for success in the future.” Read Michelle’s statement

Omari:

“I feel like there is a difference between doing the work just to do it and doing the work to understand it…” Read Omari’s statement

Trish:

“Having stronger relationships between students and teachers will increase the morale of the school, and make students and teachers more excited to come to school each day.”  Read Trish’s statement

Anonymous:

“I know it can be different. I’m one of the fortunate ones to have a good support system around me. Everyone deserves what I have.” Read Anonymous’ statement