About Kristen Rhodes Beland

“Every child is capable of achieving academic greatness if they know they are loved.” ~K. Rhodes Beland Kristen Rhodes Beland is a 2019-20 Teach Plus Rhode Island Teaching Policy Alumi. Kristen is a 4th grade teacher at the Suzanne M. Henseler Quidnessett Elementary School in North Kingstown, RI. She has worked in North Kingstown for 18 years. Previously she served as an integration specialist implementing the SmART program developed by Brown University. As well, she has been involved in the integration of technology into the district, leading professional development in digital citizenship for the N.K. Google Summits. She has also been lead theatrical director, bringing together groups of 75 students to gain confidence through acting. She has given testimony to extended student teaching time to the former RI commissioner, published an op-ed through Medium on Empathy, and has lead her school to become trauma informed. In 2013, she was a Golden Apple Recipient. She graduated with an Interdisciplinary Arts Degree from Salve Regina University.

Building Stronger Relationships with Students Requires Relational Trust

We are in the business of cultivating successful people. In order to do this, we must put each student first every single day to ensure that their human needs are met by truly knowing each and everyone of them. Student success cannot happen without a strong teacher-student relationship, and at the core of this relationship, is trust. Students who have trust in their educator show greater confidence in themselves, stronger student engagement, and exhibit greater achievement. Trust, or relational trust in education parlance, is built over time through interactions and experiences. Therefore, it is imperative we create relationships from the very first moment of the first day of school.

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