Opinion: Administration misses opportunity to connect with students

Opinion%3A+Administration+misses+opportunity+to+connect+with+students

Feature photo by Alivia Lee. Rangeview administration talk among themselves during lunch time. Lunch times is an example of an ideal opportunity to get to bond with students.

By Alivia Lee, Co-editor in Chief

On a day to day basis, the teachers at Rangeview continue to shape our lives and influence the future we will one day have; in some cases the connections and relationships students build with their teachers last a lifetime, but what about the typical admin-student relationship? Sure, a few dozen students can say they have a friendly and cordial relationship with the administration in this building, but the same is not true for the majority of Rangeview students. Unless the students themselves make the effort to get familiar with the principal, assistant principals, and/or deans, it is unlikely that a comfortable bond will be created.

Does it even matter if the students get to know this building’s administration and vise-versa, and should the admin get to know their students, not just as a student body but as individuals?

“If students were more comfortable with their administration they would be able to talk to them about problems they see around school,” said 2016-2017 student body president Darlenne Guerra. “I feel as though if you’re not a shining athlete or work with them personally, they do not get to know their students.”

Some of the state evaluation categories for teachers include: “fostering a classroom in which each student has positive, nurturing relationship with caring adults and peers, and engaging with students as individuals with unique interests and strengths.” Teachers’ successfulness is based off of how well they connect with and engage with students but admins should lead by example and also take it upon themselves to connect with their students. If teachers are literally evaluated on how well they engage with and connect with their students, then why do admins not attempt to make that same level of commitment to student engagement?

Similar admin-student standards that are put into place by the state include, “ Principals articulate, model and positively reinforce a clear vision and values of the school’s culture and involve students, families and staff in creating an inclusive and welcoming climate that supports it,” and “Principals promote the cognitive, physical, social and emotional health, growth and skill development of every student.” Though these standards are put into place, it is hard for many students to see the fulfillment of these state given expectations. If administration does not know the majority of their students on a personal level they are probably unable to decide what is needed to promote this social and emotional health. While the school does host events such as freshman showcases and club open houses to welcome members of the Rangeview community, not all administrators can be seen actively engaging with students or parents, rather with each other.

“I don’t even know who administration is,” said senior Evelin Acosta.

Unfortunately, this tends to be the general consensus among most students. Many may know the names and even the faces of some of the administration but that’s it. Students just know the faces; if students do not even know the few admins, it is highly unlikely that they admin would know their students; the chance to get to know students is often not seized.

Almost every day during lunch the majority of admins are walking around the commons and supervising student interaction; typically by the end of the lunch period they are all standing in their little huddle talking amongst themselves and playing on their phones. Why not use this time to sit down with students and get to know what Rangeview students are really like?  

While it is really quite unrealistic to say the administration of this building needs to be on a first name, amicable relationship with 2,200 or so students, it would be a nice change to at least see some effort being made towards that goal. While lunchtime is the perfect opportunity to walk around and sit with students and work towards a relationship, it seems as this opportunity is overlooked. Though a job of the adults during lunch is to monitor student behavior, the admins can often be seen standing in their little clique like groups, either on their phones or talking amongst one another. Standing around in the commons and walking around in circles to watch student interaction is great and all; but, to a lot of students that is all that these people are — random adults that they see on a daily basis.

This trend of not knowing students is probably quite common among other schools; but, Rangeview admins should take the lead and set a precedent in building strong student relationships. In my life as a student I have had many principals and vice principals and have in-fact seen extensive effort put into building relationships. Every morning  at Aurora Quest K-8, a school with about a 600 students, Principal Schoenhals would be outside playing with students, talking to his students, and simply bonding with them. If a single man is able to reach out to 500+ students, the Rangeview administration team should try and attempt to do the same thing at a larger scale.  

“I feel that they (admins) should be more involved in classrooms; that is how our teachers get to know us. They see us every day,” said Guerra.

By now, students have gotten use to the principal and assistant principals coming into classrooms for teacher evaluations and asking students but current lessons, but this slim bit of classroom involvement is about the teachers and how they are performing — not about students. Though admins do have a busy schedule, it would be an improvement if they were able to sub in classes when teachers are out or just spent down time in classes with students, or sat in the commons talking to students during off periods. While student interaction should not completely distract from executive duties, getting to know the students should be more of a priority.