Education Gems

Student friendships and groupings

There’s something that is hard to understand. It happens frequently in a school setting, often more than not. It’s actually something that doesn’t happen, if that makes sense. It’s got to do with relationships between students and their groupings. It’s about students reaching out to others who are not in their group.

Why is it so difficult for someone to break out of a group to acknowledge someone else? Why is it such a big thing for a student to be friendly with another student who is not in her group? Students know exactly what this is about. I can’t be friendly with so and so, because she is not in my group, and then someone in my group will shun me because I have broken group boundaries. Or, I can’t be nice to her, because someone in my group doesn’t like her, and then she won’t like me. Or, why did you talk with her?? Ouch!

Groupings bring security. They help give a sense of belonging, identity and acceptance. This is so important to students, that a tremendous amount of energy is expended to keep the grouping secure. Walls are built, territory is marked out, and both are carefully guarded.
So closely, that when there is a fallout of friendships, there is nowhere for the student to go.

That’s the problem. Groupings give a false sense of security; it is oh, so hard to get out of one group and into another! Groupings bring division; the boundaries between them can be as deep as chasms. Groupings provide a false sense of identity; how many in the group really want to be identified with the group leader? Groupings are silly and non-sensical.

How many parents have advised their son/daughter to move on and find a new set of friends because they realise current friendships are not working? And how many have been told, but it’s too hard, I can’t just join another group…you don’t understand!
It is hard to understand, but when you look at the adult world, is it much different?

What is wisdom? You look out for the best interests of those in your class; you don’t pick on others because they are different than you, more clever than you, or you’re trying to protect your own little circle of friends. You do this because wisdom teaches that you are all God’s children, equal in His eyes. That is wisdom!

With Christian Greetings,
M Plug, Principal