Building Relationships With Students
The start of a new school year is an exciting time for teachers and students. Like we’ve discussed in other posts (like this one about starting your year intentionally,) how we start the year is a big factor for how the year will proceed.
As we all know, there are a lot of nerves involved in being in a new class – for teachers, students, and families.
These nerves can keep us from really connecting with the students in our classroom. If we aren’t careful, that lack of communication and connection can lead to issues later on in the school year.
Having a relationship full of trust and honesty is vital to the success of your students. So how do you create a culture that encourages students to trust you?
Get To Know Your Students
Don’t we all simply want people to know and understand us? Why would our students be any different? Spend time talking to your students and finding out who they are:
- What do your students like?
- What do they dislike?
- How are they similar?
- How are they different?
- Do they have pets or siblings?
We have to get to know who our students are and how they best learn if we are going to be the most effective teachers we can be.
Here are some different ideas you can use in your classroom to help foster relationships.
Personal Artifacts – What Is Important To Your Students?
Invite your students to bring in something from home that is special to them. Have them present to the class (which also helps build confidence!)
Seeing something that is important to your students is a great way to learn a little more about what makes them tick.
Make it personal to you by bringing in something from your house to present to your students. They will appreciate the chance to see you as a person as well as their teacher.
Personal Hobbies – What Is Something Your Students Enjoy Doing?
Learning what your students enjoy doing is a big part of truly understanding them as individuals, not just names on a roster.
Make a fun survey-style activity to do during the first week of school that will help you learn more about what your students like to do.
You could also play four corners, and assign a different activity to each corner to see which students have things in common. Some ideas for the corners are sports, music, art, technology, animals, and other. (This also helps students meet classmates with similar interests.)
Not only will knowing your students’ hobbies and interests make you more connected, it will also give you ideas for ways to engage them in learning.
Example: If a bulk of your students enjoy playing soccer, find a way to incorporate soccer into your lesson or review.
Personal Goals – What Do Your Students Want To Learn?
I always found it interesting to hear from students and learn what they want to learn during their time in the classroom.
The bonus of this is that without trying too hard, you get your students thinking about their own learning, which is a step to your students thinking independently (but more on that here).
When you know what your students want to learn as individuals you have the ability to personalize the educational experience.
Consistent Routine Can Equal Strong Trust
Students need to see your consistency if they are going to trust you. And while there is a lot to be said for piquing the interests of your students by changing up the routine, you do need to have a consistent plan if students are going to feel comfortable.
As you start your school year, be sure to have a consistent routine that is not changed too much.
Remember that for some students, you might be the most consistent thing in their lives.
With this in mind, make as few changes to your routine as possible, and be sure to inform the class of changes that need to be made.
The Learning Styles Flipbook
I found myself wanting to know more about not just who my students are, but how my students learn.
When I went looking for the resources I needed, I couldn’t find anything like what I had in mind.
So I decided to create my own!
My Learning Styles Flipbook is a great way to teach students what the different learning styles are. Students can also take a quiz to find out what their preferred learning style is.
This resource is what I consider an easy prep, high reward activity that I enjoyed doing with my students during the first week of school.
You can get more information or pick up your copy of the Learning Styles Flipbook by clicking on the photo below.
How do you intentionally build relationships with your students?
I’d love to know! Comment or email me below.
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