Relationships are a huge part of everyone’s lives, shaping our thinking and the people we are today. Each relationship has a different set of expectations, however, the key to all relationships is support and consistency.
After watching Dr Suzanne Zeedyk’s Education Scotland video on ‘Brain Development’ and John Canarchan’s video about the ‘Importance of Early Years’, I was fascinated by the impact relationships have on the development of babies and children’s brains. I had not previously considered the correlation between initial relationships and future learning.
However, it is clear that the development of healthy, consistent relationships are vital to the success of children’s lives. Teachers have a role to play in supporting this development. It is crucial that children have consistency in school and feel safe in their learning environment. This is because children may not have a stable home life in which they are able to just be children, and may be spending a lot of time “monitoring for threat” (Education Scotland, 2016), trying to survive in less than ideal circumstances. Teachers have to develop strong relationships with their pupils in order for children to trust them, and model good relationships so that children experience healthy relationships. Doing even the simplest things as a teacher can have the biggest positive impact on children, such as taking time with pupils, caring about their welfare, showing appropriate emotions, and being consistent.
John Carnochan suggests that poor quality relationships in early life may lead to criminal behaviour in adulthood. It is easier to simply blame people for their actions, rather than consider why there are issues. Carnochan argues that young people’s biggest “sin is ignorance”, (Education Scotland, 2016) as they do not have the knowledge to know any better. This is a very powerful statement which suggests that ignorance is due to a lack of education and understanding about healthy relationships. It is the responsibility of practitioners to teach children essential life skills, such as resilience, as early as possible, so that children are able to judge risks and make informed decisions about a range of situations. These skills have the potential to stop children getting involved in violence later in life, because of an understanding of the consequences.
Education Scotland, ‘Pre-Birth to Three: Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk – Brain Development’, (2016), Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lyjNIIJ0LM&=&index=6&=&list=PLcD2TdZ4bXSlQQO-QUF52X-SkQ9kI7Rlo, (Accessed 18.01.19).
Education Scotland, ‘Pre-Birth to Three: Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan – Importance of the early years’, (2016), Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl4p6EUW1h8, (Accessed 18.01.19).