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One Caring Adult

The Power of Relationships

Darrel Kohlman

August 25, 2016


What does it take to make a difference in a child’s life? After watching this powerful video from Josh Shipp, I would agree that it just takes “One Caring Adult”! A district wide focus this year for Nemaha Central Schools is relationships. On the first day back from the summer, the teaching staff of Nemaha Central watched this great visualization of the opportunities that we have to make a child’s life better. I challenged the staff to be that “One Caring Adult” to the students of Nemaha Central this year. Being an educator isn’t just about being able to teach content and getting students ready for the future academically. In fact, in my opinion the tougher part of the job is to build positive relationships with students; this part can have more of an impact on students’ success over their life than the academics.


John C. Maxwell says, “Students don’t care what you know until they know you care.” Multiple studies show that if a student is connected or feels accepted at school it can have a positive impact on academic success. Under the new Kansas Education Systems Accreditation, school districts can choose from the 5 R’s (Relationships, Relevance, Responsive Culture, Rigor, and Results) as to which one will be the focus for the school year. Nemaha Central staff choose to focus on Relationships; their reasoning was that a school built on positive relationships will bring about positive results in the other four areas.


However, the importance of relationships isn’t just between staff and students; it is also important part of the culture of the district.  We also want to improve relationships among Nemaha Central staff members.  Another beginning of the year activity was to discover what type of personality each person had using Color Code. Once you know what color/personality you are, you will know yourself better and what makes you the person you are.  Of course, it also helps in understanding how to interact with other people/staff too.


Another area of relationships that the district will focus on is with the members of the community:  parents, grandparents, patrons, businesses, or anyone who support Nemaha Central Schools. We have always benefitted from the support that we get from the members of our community for our school, and we don’t want to take that for granted. We want to continue to foster relationships throughout the community that will benefit our students. This can be done in a lot of ways by job shadowing, visiting health care facilities, community service projects, or other ways. We encourage you to contact our administrators if you have other ideas of how we can build positive relationships with the community that supports us so well.


My last challenge to every adult in our community is to try and be that “one caring adult” for a child that you know.  You can be that “one caring adult” who makes a difference in children from our community.  You could make a difference with a child who is a neighbor, one who attends your church, or a young person that you work with, etc.  It doesn’t matter how you know the child; what matters is you are a positive influence, and you make a connection so that he/she knows that someone CARES and wants to help him/her become the best version of himself/herself.  This truly is a great community, and it’s exciting to think about the possibilities as we make a concerted effort to strengthen connections with our youth!  

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