Relationships Don’t Come Before Rigor, They Go Hand in Hand

All too often, we take relationships for granted in our education. But, in truth, whether we realize it or not, our relationship with our education is the most important one of our lives. If we are not careful, our education can backfire on us and make us more likely to lose our ideal job along with our ideal partner.

The first time I heard the quote “relationships come before rigor” was during the interview for my summer job. The quote was stated by an older gentleman who was an English professor and had taught at my high school. He was my first English professor, and I felt that the quote was rather telling of the class.

Although it’s become common knowledge that relationships don’t always last, many people have solved the problem by putting all of their energy into their career and neglecting their romantic lives. To be fair, you can’t expect a long-term relationship with another person if you won’t put forth the effort to commit to the relationship. However, a healthy relationship must be built on a strong friendship first. This can only happen if you put in the time to build that friendship. It’s easy to do this because it’s a two-way street. It’s not the other person’s responsibility to start the friendship, it’s yours. They just need to be willing to listen and be friendly enough to keep up with your busy life.. Read more about stages in a relationship and let us know what you think.



I’m a sixth-grade teacher who is dealing with the realities of educating students who haven’t been to school in over a year. Many kids haven’t been in a classroom setting since elementary school. While pressure is growing to speed student learning and make academics a priority, this will not be possible without also addressing the specific social-emotional demands that have arisen as a result of the crisis.

I’m bringing this up because it seems that there’s a strange divide between proponents of social-emotional learning (SEL) and educators who prefer to concentrate on the hard academic aspect of education. 

On the one hand, we’ve all seen the viral postings from teachers and school administrators praising kids for being “more than test results,” instead emphasizing the numerous amenities available to them, such as meal delivery and digital access, as indicators of success. 

Academic achievement, on the other hand, seems to be the obvious focus as schools recover from the epidemic, despite demands from lawmakers, activists, and parents to increase performance in areas like as arithmetic and reading.

But keep in mind that prioritizing student success and offering SEL assistance are not mutually incompatible objectives.

Wear that phrase as a badge of pride if you work in education and think it’s a given. Because every time I pass by the blinking LED sign at my local primary school urging staff workers to put “Relationships Before Rigor!” Many people, I’m reminded, perceive a division when there isn’t one.

SEL Has the Potential to Have a Long-Term Academic Impact on Students

Researchers discovered a link between four-year-olds’ self-control and first-grade arithmetic performance in a study including a broad group of preschool children. In a study of over 200 different SEL programs, children who got SEL assistance improved their grades by 11 percentile points. 

This staged conflict between academic rigor and social-emotional growth isn’t even a fork in the road. It is, in fact, a massive roundabout. As we continue to navigate this crisis, helping kids achieve their destination—a great education that enables them to be responsible, self-determined citizens—will require a significant commitment to both their social-emotional and intellectual needs.

Putting the onus on schools to achieve all of these outcomes may be difficult, but it is incumbent on them to try. A good place to start is through student wellbeing assessments and strong professional development in trauma-informed treatment. We have a fighting chance if we add more money from the American Rescue Plan to provide additional school counselors.

However, changing one’s attitude is the first (and probably most hardest) step toward achievement in this new normal. I’m returning to school this month, like thousands of other teachers throughout the nation, knowing that SEL is more important than ever. Instead of viewing it as “just another thing” to do, let us see it as the basis for academic and non-academic success that our children need this year. 

This post originally appeared on Rural Ed Voices</a?.

Canva-licensed photo by Monkey Business Images.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • stages in a relationship
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  • dating vs boyfriend and girlfriend
  • dating vs girlfriend
  • having a thing vs dating

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