As teachers, we are encouraged to build relationships with our students. Great idea, but how do you do that on a daily basis? How do you make sure you connect to all your students? Good questions AND I may have the answer for you!!
A few years ago, my schedule had an open 30 minute block between two specials. What to do? Not really enough time to start a new activity and I make sure students have plenty of time to work and practice during scheduled lessons.
Most of my students have busy schedules when they leave school each day; sports, piano lessons, dance lessons, to name only a few. There is rarely time for them to read outside of school. I decided to use the 30 minutes for independent reading!!
As the students began their first day of independent reading, I was left sitting at my desk. That’s when I hit on the ideas to meet with 4 or 5 students daily, one-on-one! I called my first student and with their chair they came to my desk. I simply asked, “What’s going on and it doesn’t have to be about school?” To my surprise and delight, my student began to tell me about the soccer tournament he was going to be playing in on Saturday! My next students told me about her hip-hop dance class and it just went from there!
Such information made it easy for me to talk to my students about “stuff” that had nothing to do with school. That was my one rule for talking to my students; no school talk. These conversations take place each day with different students and the conversations don’t take more than about 4-5 minutes, so I am able to talk to 5 or 6 students each day.
I have done this for the past two years and it has had a really positive affect with the each class. Some of my students were a bit shy at first, but soon were telling me about such things as their passion for dinosaurs, their remote control cars, their judo class. I also have had students send me picture of their successes: earning a black belt, riding their dirt bike for the first time, and even a dance rehearsal video. The students love sharing their experiences with the class too!
If you can find find a block of time each day, give each student 4-5 minutes of your complete attention and you’ll be surprised at how students will WANT to talk to you.
Let me know how you build relationships with your students! I love hearing from other teachers!!