Steve Jeffares and Brenda Whycherley show that building strong relationships develops confidence for their students.
Building relationships with students visiting a technology centre
Steve Jeffares: Our students come from mostly year 1 to 8 schools and so they have a slightly family orientated approach, they are very good at working together, they have a very caring intra-supportive relationship with each other, and we just become a part of that when they come into our tech centre.
We make sure we don't simplify our language too much, but we’ve framed things in a way that allows us to maintain a high level of expectation, but a caring supportive environment that allows them to make mistakes, it allows them to come to you with anything that goes wrong and that allows them to feel really confident and comfortable in the technology environment whether it's in the wood room, whether it's in electronics, food, so every single one of those areas, they will love to come. If we have students who leave technology, with a love of technology then we’re half way there.
Brenda Whycherley: I’ve always lived in this area so I just can’t imagine not relating to children from this area. But I can usually find some connection with nearly every student. Even if it’s just, I went to that school, I went to the same school as you. Of course lots and lots of the names are very familiar to me. We just try and make it as comfortable as we possibly can for when they come into the college, and as non-threatening as we possibly can.
We’re always there to greet them in the mornings, we provide lunch for them if we notice that they haven’t got lunch, we go to the canteen with them at morning tea and lunch time, we are always with them when they’re in the school, Steve or myself are always there at morning tea or lunch time and we’ll have lunch or morning tea with them. We’ll go outside and play with them at lunch time, having things for them to do at lunch time like, might have a movie and we have balls or sometimes take skipping ropes and things out. And then just providing their books, and providing pens and pencils for them to use while they’re at tech, having shoes and hair ties available if they don’t have the correct footwear.
Making it their place when they’re here. I do little things like cut their photographs out of the local paper and laminate them and have them on the wall, and we take photographs of the children working and put them round our rooms, so that they feel that it is their place when they come here. It’s not the college’s room, it’s their room when they are working here. We have both been out to the schools on different occasions, we will take things that they might leave after school, we often are invited to different events that happen at the school in the evenings, which is really nice, we’ll go to their shows and things which is good to be part of. Building strong relationships is really, really, important and I think if you love what you do and really, really, enjoy what you do, the kids know that.