Friday, July 21, 2017

How to Build Relationships with Students

Back to school is an exciting, but busy time. Your students are excited about their new classroom, teacher and friends. You are excited about your new students, your freshly decorated classroom and you're probably full of new ideas. But with all this excitement, there is no doubt a few reservations: coming from you AND your new students. Building relationships early on makes for a happy and productive classroom - 100% guaranteed! That's why today's post focuses on how to build relationships with students. 

Learning how to build relationships with students is essential for every teacher - new AND veteran alike! This blog post will outline ideas and strategies you can use to build relationships with your students and their families in those first few weeks of school. It'll take just a few extra minutes of your busy day, but the end result will be more than worth your time. Great ideas for the preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade teacher to using during back to school!

There is one thing that is a necessity in any classroom, from Kindergarten up to high school - TRUST. Students need to be able to trust their teacher. They have to know that their teacher likes them, values them, and has their best interest at heart. Students will work 10 times harder for you if they trust you. They will work harder to learn and to please you. Building that trust relationship though can be challenging.

Learning how to build relationships with students is essential for every teacher - new AND veteran alike! This blog post will outline ideas and strategies you can use to build relationships with your students and their families in those first few weeks of school. It'll take just a few extra minutes of your busy day, but the end result will be more than worth your time. Great ideas for the preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade teacher to using during back to school!

So where do I begin?

You genuinely need to be concerned and interested in what is going on in each of your kiddo's lives. A few simple steps will help your students know that you are concerned and care about them. 

First and foremost - SMILE! Greet your kiddos in the morning with a smile as they walk through the door of your classroom. It's easy to use student arrival time as an opportunity to chat with other teachers or finish up some last minute task, but taking the time to greet your students lets them know that you're happy to see them and happy they came to school. As a bonus, saying a simple phrase like "I'm so happy to see you!" will only support your smile.

Secondly, GET TO KNOW your students. Ask them questions! A great beginning of the week question is "What did you do this weekend?" Spend five minutes on Monday morning listening to their stories. {This is great for developing oral language and taking turns!} 

If a student receives a special award from an after-school activity (such as soccer of baseball), invite them to bring it in and share it with the class. At the beginning of the year, have students bring in pictures of their family. These can be displayed throughout the year. Young students love to tell you stories and share about what's going on in their lives and this just makes your relationship with them strong!

Learning how to build relationships with students is essential for every teacher - new AND veteran alike! This blog post will outline ideas and strategies you can use to build relationships with your students and their families in those first few weeks of school. It'll take just a few extra minutes of your busy day, but the end result will be more than worth your time. Great ideas for the preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade teacher to using during back to school!

Another great way to get to know your students is to spend time with them. I know mornings can be a busy time, but consider spending a few minutes before class starts interacting with your students. As they get settled, walk around and have short, one to two minute conversations with a few of them one on one. Bend down and get on their level. Pick a few different students the next day. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, it can make a world of difference and it lets them know you care.

Mornings are also the perfect time to spend a few minutes one-on-one with those couple students who need positive attention. Encourage them to have a good day and follow the rules. Maybe set a small goal together. Rather than acting out to get your attention in a negative way, they start their day with positive attention from you. This is going to show them you care and makes a big deposit in that bank account of trust you are growing!

We all need to eat, and kids LOVE to eat with their teacher! Now I know that lunch is the time we make copies, run to the bathroom, and just take a deep breath. But one or two days a week or even a month, consider inviting a small group of students to eat lunch with you in the classroom. Lunch time is the perfect time to have casual conversations with the kiddos in a relaxed, comfortable environment. What a great way to get to know your littles than over a fun lunch! Not only will you build a relationship with your students while filling their tummies, you'll create an environment  where your kiddos feel loved and safe!

Another key on how to build relationships with students are using positive comments. This is probably one of the easiest to implement. Say something like, "I love your shirt," "Wow, your handwriting looks beautiful!" or I am so proud of how you.....!" These are just a few examples of how positive comments can help build relationships among your littles.

I would add that being specific in your positive comments is critical! Your compliment means more when you are specific. Rather than saying, "Great job lining up," say, "I love how you went to the door without talking to your neighbor!" This lets the students know exactly what they did right so they will want to repeat the behavior. But it also encourages the rest of the class to follow in that positive behavior without pointing out the negative behaviors. This of course is much easier to accomplish and for the kids to react to if the relationship is already forming!

Learning how to build relationships with students is essential for every teacher - new AND veteran alike! This blog post will outline ideas and strategies you can use to build relationships with your students and their families in those first few weeks of school. It'll take just a few extra minutes of your busy day, but the end result will be more than worth your time. Great ideas for the preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade teacher to using during back to school!

There's one more piece on how to build relationships with students, even though it doesn't actually have anything to do with the classroom. Regardless, it's still important. Make positive parent contacts. This creates a positive relationship between the teacher, student, and parent. And if you have that positive relationships built on trust, it makes working together so much easier. Making a positive parent contact early on will help make any negative contact you may have to make later in the yer go much more smoothly. 

Simply calling, texting, or emailing a parent to tell them their child has done something super that day (while being specific) will work to create a positive home relationship that will help make for a stronger partnership and a productive school year. 

So smile, ask questions, have a special lunch, be specific on what you like that your kids are doing, and you will develop a relationship built on trust! Incorporating these small, simple steps into your day creates the type of learning environment students can thrive in and really makes an impact.

Plus your students will remember you for years to come!


Thanks so much for reading along. Best of luck to you this year as you work to build relationships with students. :)

2 comments:

  1. This is great! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is great! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete