, From our Head of Student Services and Wellbeing, Mrs Bronwyn Rappeneker, Belmont Christian College

I’ve been thinking of late about the nature of relational teaching. Just last week I was walking to class and on the way had the joy of simply chatting to two of my students. The theme of our conversation was coffee. Now, I love a great cup of coffee… but I think my love of coffee was definitely overshadowed by their love of, or at least, commitment to… drinking coffee. We were laughing as we shared our coffee stories. Was the lesson I had prepared about coffee? No – it was about dystopian narratives and writing comparative essays. But teaching isn’t something we do in isolation. Teaching is not just a process, it’s about relationships. It’s about laughing together, crying together, caring about each other, cheering each other on, respecting each other, building trust and then in the context of a relationship, it’s about taking risks, trying out new ideas, learning from our mistakes and becoming more confident and more resilient as we develop skills, and insights and deepen our understanding. What an amazing calling it is to be a teacher. We are blessed when we have the opportunity to walk alongside our students and speak into their lives.