Report on Behaviour and Relationship Challenges within Schools

How people relate with one another is central to every aspect of school life. “To acquire dignity one must achieve a sense of competence of making a contribution to, and of being valued by the group in which he or she belongs” (Hargreaves 1995page no). This report outlines relevant theory and concepts regarding behavioural and relationship challenges within schools, the necessitating factors which need to be present to ensure all parties are treated with the utmost dignity and respect and the support structures which must be in place to achieve this.

On a daily basis positive staff members will teach more than the curriculum, they will teach and model respect, honesty, kindness and inclusion. It is crucial that staff within the school organisation have a healthy relationship with one another, for themselves, their colleagues and their students. Interpersonal relations impact greatly on how a person feels about their work, the quality of work they produce, their involvement in the organisation, their stress levels and their overall level of job satisfaction. Henry Ford famously said ‘Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success’, A successful school allows all members to work together to achieve and maintain a positive interpersonal atmosphere within the organisation on an ongoing basis.

Interpersonal relations are like the cardiovascular system of a healthy school organisation. It is central to keeping all the separate organs working together as a team allowing for greater benefits for the individual and the organisation as a whole. A school which has strong relations between its members is seen as being psychologically safer and less stressful. Members have a higher morale, they have a greater commitment to each other and the success of the organisation, and there tends to be a lower rate of absenteeism amongst colleagues.

The creation of healthy interpersonal relations initiates at management level. “it is the duty of the school administrators to identify, encourage and maintain the behaviours that are associated with the modelling and nurturing of interpersonal relationships with the purpose of encouraging student success ” (Weber, The Importance of Interpersonal Relationships, 1999). Expected behaviours need to clearly laid out within the school policies and appropriate training with childcare courses like the certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care with ACTAC which you can read more about here .

Schools must maintain a proactive attitude to insisting positive relationships are maintained within a school. Staff of the same view must be actively supported and all staffs views should be discussed analysed and be taken into consideration. Principals and teachers have a responsibility to their colleagues and students to ensure they invest in maintaining and promoting good interpersonal relations and a culture of respect within the school.

Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs states that all humans have the need to feel they are accepted and that they belong. Staff and students will feel they are citizens as opposed to tourists, that they are needed, that they belong and are satisfied and valued when they are witness to positive interpersonal relations between members of the school organisation. Staff and students will then have a more positive experience within the school culture. In turn they will mould a welcoming culture which maintains a balanced, productive and safe environment which in turn limits the factors which aid the manifestation of bullying.

Psychological safety is a major issue which must be catered for to ensure positive interpersonal relations are to be maintained within a school environment or workplace.  A psychologically safe place is one that does not permit harm to an individual’s mental health through careless, negligent or intentional ways. The psychological environment within the school organisation can be ascertained by the level of dignity, confidence and self-esteem participants have when the final bell rings at the end of the day.  In the school or work organisation all members have the right to feel ‘psychologically safe ’. All individuals also have the responsibility to ensure that their actions do not hinder another’s psychological safety. When one feels psychologically safe it can have many positive effects on that person and the quality of life they experience. However, if they are do not feel psychologically safe they many become stressed, withdrawn, anxious, feel isolated and depressed (2016, )