Relationship based cooperation with the student

cooperate. So what is collaboration and why don't students collaborate with teachers? Relationship based cooperation with the student.

Relationship based cooperation with the student
Relationship based cooperation with the student

Many teachers would like to have students cooperating, which would greatly facilitate the education process. Many of us say "I'm trying, I want to help him so much, and he refuses to cooperate." So what is collaboration and why don't students collaborate with teachers? Relationship based cooperation with the student.

Wikipedia says that collaboration is both the ability and the ability to bond and interact with other people. It is also an emotional competence that conditions good relationships. The very term "co-working" means work, which we do together with someone, e.g. a teacher with a student. It is said that good collaboration is the key to success for both learner and teacher. The basis of good cooperation is the so-called a sense of emotional security, because only when the student feels safe, his brain lets go of the fight, flight or freezing reactions and moves towards the relationship. It is worth remembering that an adult is always responsible for building teacher-student relationships, their quality and atmosphere. 100% of the responsibility is on the teacher's side, because the student, due to his still immature nervous system and insufficient competences, is not able to take this responsibility on himself.

Collaboration is an invitation

No man can force another to cooperate. Therefore, the teacher can only invite the student to join it. As with any invitation, this also implies the possibility of refusal. This refusal is not information about the teacher, that he did something wrong, but it is information about the student, his unmet needs, and the emotions he experienced. Therefore, when a student refuses to cooperate with us, it is worth considering what is hidden under the refusal, what the student wants to take care of.

Refusal as information about unmet needs

Usually, the refusal to cooperate results from not taking into account the needs of the student. Most often, the student refuses because:

  • He wants to take care of his need for decision-making, anonymity and independence. This is a basic need that manifests itself very early, at the age of 2-3. The child wants to do many things on his own and refuses to cooperate, or rather our help. When a student refuses, this refusal proves to him that he decides and that he has an influence on his decisions. This is why cooperation means voluntary on the part of the student, but also the teacher.
  • He wants to satisfy his need to feel important and taken into account. When a student feels that he is disrespected and not treated with dignity, he will not want to cooperate with us. Relationship-based cooperation presupposes the belief that both sides, the teacher and the student, are equally important and that each of them deserves respect, despite the difference in age, but also with different responsibilities.

As I wrote in the introduction, cooperation is a competence, a skill that students have yet to learn. This is why some students, especially the younger ones, may simply be developmentally not yet ready to collaborate. In such a case, the teacher's attitude is extremely important, as how he or she behaves in relation to the student shows what cooperation means. According to the principle "words teach, actions attract".

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Collaboration is not following orders

Many of us are convinced that if he tells a student an order, he or she is to carry it out, and if he does not do it, it means that he does not cooperate. When I want a student to carry out my orders without undue delay, almost immediately, I expect him to obey and submit rather than cooperate. The latter involves a dialogue in an atmosphere of respect, mutual seeing and hearing each other. When we think about it, we probably don't want students to be submissive and obedient adults in the future. It's a trap that is easy to fall into and leads to a bad ending. Therefore, when a student does not want to follow my command, it is worth considering what is hidden under it, what is under the so-called surface, and start a conversation with him, what is the reason for this and what would have to be done so that our request or instruction was taken into account by the student. Questions may be helpful:

  • What do I really mean? What is important to me? What do I want to do for myself and what do I want to do for the student?
  • What is the student doing? What does he want to show me with his refusal? What can I not see? Maybe the command is incomprehensible and the student refuses to admit it because he is afraid of losing face? Or maybe it is too difficult to perform or did the student perceive it as violating his dignity?

What can encourage a student to cooperate?

The condition for cooperation is voluntary. Therefore, when we want to encourage the student to cooperate with us, a personal interview in which we are focused on listening and taking into account the student's perspective without judging, criticizing or surprised can be helpful.

What helps is our curiosity with which we ask:

  • What's happening? What's your perspective? What do you think about it? How's it going? - the so-called diagnosis of the problem.
  • How would you like it to be? How can I help you? What do you want, you can do about it? - Questions about the goal.
  • What do you do? What commitments do you want to make? How do you see my role as teacher-mentor? - Questions about actions.
  • What threats do you see? What can stop you?
  • What are the benefits of this cooperation? What will be your success?
  • What will happen, what will be the further course of events, if nothing comes of this cooperation and does the student have consent for it? - Questions about the consequences.

Good cooperation with the student is therefore based on a dialogue in which the student feels that he is being treated subjectively, and the teacher sees in him a person, a person, and not only a student, who is an element of the school system.

Good cooperation is based on a relationship in which everyone is treated with respect and equal dignity. We should remember that cooperation will be effective only when we invite a student to it. You can't force anyone to cooperate. The more controls, orders, orders, and ignoring the student's perspective in the student-teacher relationship, the less chance we have for cooperation. Good contact with the student is the basis of good cooperation.