We decided to start Classroom Communities because of a desire to share stories and ideas about the positive impact of building relationships. Over time we have had many conversations about the fact we both felt called to teach because of the ‘humanness’ of education. Our favorite memories of our own school experiences are centered on the relationships we built in classrooms as students. We strive to create classroom and school communities where all students feel valued and are empowered to contribute.
In this era of extreme data collection, standards, technology, and mandates from afar, we ask ourselves, “Has the education ‘industry’ lost touch with connecting in real ways with the students in our classrooms?” While all schools probably embrace the ‘whole child’ in their mission statements, we know that there are places where teachers feel the emphasis is on the data, not the kids. Our hope with this site is to challenge, affirm and connect with other educators who know in their hearts and minds what James P. Comer said many years ago, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”
We will tell uplifting and maybe heartbreaking stories, share relevant research that helps empower teachers, share strategies that help us to build relationships, and ask questions when we are troubled with the classroom communities we develop. We feel fortunate that a great team of educators from all over the country agreed to regularly post on Classroom Communities.
Tony Keefer and Brian Wyzlic