Reimagining the Student-Teacher Relationship

By Donovan Burriss and Kasey Kaler

Every kid needs a champion. Someone they can look up to and think, “wow, I want to be just like them when I grow up.” While it might not always be that obvious, it is evident the massive impact that we can have on children. Dr. James P. Comer once stated that “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” Relationships enable a child to learn how to think. Teachers, coaches, and other trusted adults have shaped each one of us through organic relationships that we have created.

As educational leaders, we are put in an incredible position to be able to grow authentic relationships with students who are eager to connect and learn from us. Frankly, people and especially kids will not care how much we know, but how much we care. And that piece is what separates STEM Sports from other STEM-related programs. Our team is made up of individuals who a committed to the educational enrichment of today’s youth. Education is crucial, that is undeniable, but passively listening to facts while sitting at a desk holds many disadvantages. Active learning allows for the educator to involve students in the learning process. In the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), authors cite that to learn, students must do more than listen. They must read, write, discuss, and be engaged in solving problems.

Donovan Burriss

“The classroom has to be about more than delivering information – a place where children can come together in a group and solve problems in an interdisciplinary way.” – Naveen Jain, entrepreneur and education philanthropist.

As educational leaders, we can creatively nurture a child’s curiosity. This motivates them to seek out new experiences fostering greater learning success over the long term. In a play-inspired environment by STEM Sports, curiosity is cultivated, and relationships are organically molded through hands-on activities, play, and laughter. Children are inspired to creatively think, solve problems, and develop upon their cognitive skills while learning about science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and sports.

Innovatively blended with play, STEM Sports creates the ideal platform for educators to combine play-inspired and active learning with disciplines in a growing and significant field. Our programs immerse students in education, sport, and physical activities that allow them to grow in their STEM literacy and the subsequent real-world application. It’s our mission to promote students’ development of critical thinking, collaborative, creative problem-solving and leadership skills. Just as importantly, physical activity and participation are also vital components of our programs. By fusing all these elements, a comprehensive educational experience is achieved.

The greatest educational experience for children is nurtured through organic relationships. STEM Sports crafts the perfect atmosphere for children to think critically and come together as a group promoting creative problem-solving and leadership skills. Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like; by creating an atmosphere conducive to maximizing children’s learning experience through STEM Sports. We are in a marvelous position to positively shape each of our student’s futures.

Kasey Kaler teaches STEM Volleyball