VicSRC in focus: A Culture of Respect
In our sixth bitesize piece of the VicSRC Policy Platform, we break down our next focus area: A Culture of Respect. See how it underpins all our work - and can be used as a guide to yours.
GOAL 6: All students feel safe and respected at school.
Why this matters
It is important to us to have respectful relationships between students and teachers that are built upon mutual trust, respect and support. We learn better when teachers know our specific needs and interests and work with our strengths. They then expect more and we work harder to meet those expectations.
Strong relationships between school staff and students are also important to our wellbeing. When we have at least one adult who we trust and who knows us well, we are more likely to report bullying or other issues and teachers are more likely to spot when we are having difficulties.
In a culture of respect, we can all focus on learning. This is when all students and staff know that they are safe at school and that rules and expectations are fair and effective. In addition, when schools have strong, positive, inclusive values, including respecting and involving parents and carers and valuing cultural diversity, our wellbeing is improved and we have better mental health.
We learn best in a culture of respect that consults students about teaching and learning. Two-way feedback, offered in a safe and non-judgmental setting such as the Teach the Teacher program, can have huge benefits for teachers and teaching.
All schools are involved with the Teach the Teacher program.
SRCs are consulted about expectations, behaviour, respect and their roles in this area.
All students are involved in programs that enhance their understanding of
Student representatives are trained and supported to intervene positively and
respectfully around issues of behaviour amongst students.
Students are involved in enhancing respect and inclusion in their school through, for
example, student action teams.
“A culture of respect, equality and trust is integral to supporting the best environment for learning and educational outcomes in schools. Recognizing that students have the maturity to make their own informed decisions or to learn from their mistakes should be respected in a school community, as it would be respected in any other setting. If this is established then student teacher bonds, trust and a healthier culture will all follow and the benefits will be felt across the whole school.”
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