When I began this journey, I decided to interview some of my former students and athletes to gain insight and demonstrate the importance of building positive relationships with students. After all, at the end of the day, they are the ones who matter. Here’s what they have to say.

A Grade 11 student living in the UK with a mixed background speaks highly about the support and guidance she received, emphasizing the balance between being demanding and having a caring approach that helped her achieve the grades she was aiming for. Similarly, a Grade 8 student at that time mentions how he truly appreciates the positive relationships created with teachers who made an effort to build a good rapport with the students. He highlights how this motivation encouraged him to put more effort into those lessons.

IIn the Caribbean, there was a Grade 12 student who was in her last year before University. I remember her as such a talented student, but unable to unlock her potential. She highlights how this approach to teaching, based on building positive relationships with the students, was a life-changing experience for her. Finally, she could grow her self-confidence, which not only enabled her to achieve one of the best grades in the country in her Spanish National exams but also to continue to shine in her project after school to become a doctor abroad.

Still on the exotic beaches of the Bahamas, I met this young man in Grade 8. Struggling academically and showing some behavioral issues, I wasn’t able to help him succeed academically straight away. However, I forged a positive connection that he still remembers. He mentions how the sacrifice of a teacher moving to a different country to help and care for students he did not know before was more significant than Spanish; it was a masterclass in leadership from a great person who motivated him to strive in the future. And strive he did, becoming one of the most brilliant young entrepreneurs in the USA. Man, I did not see that coming. That’s why we should never give up; always keep believing in them.

The last star I am going to mention in this section is a German student based in Thailand who was not indeed my student but a member of my football team. She wants to remark how she felt those teachers who really cared and who were asking about her well-being and how things were going, and actually meant this. She says it was really open for her to open up to those teachers, and this helped her to go through the difficult last years of IB. She hopes the future of education is heading in this direction as she can only think of good memories from that time.

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