At the beginning of the year, every educator builds relationships with their students over the first few days of school. There is talk about “reaching them to teach them”. This excitement however quickly fades in order to dive into teaching content standards as many teachers feel the time crunch of the total number of allotted instructional. If we fast-forward to the middle of the school year, we often see that our relationships are beginning to suffer due to neglect and our relationships become strained. We have trained ourselves as educators to think that it is just what happens toward the end of every school year. It is NOT.
“Great relationships with your students requires consistent nurturing and maintenance.”
What if we spent time weekly maintaining these relationships throughout the school year in our classes? Restoring and maintaining relationships with our students in class is important to create a more positive and productive learning environment during the school year. Building a classroom community where students feel safe to take risks and comfortable with policing and one another will lead to increased opportunities for student learning. Teachers who are able to cultivate an environment of student ownership often see an increase in learning time within their classrooms. Afterall, content is irrelevant if your students don’t like their teacher. It’s important to maintain our relationships, not just build them.