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 fades 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 connection suffers 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 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 learning environment during the school year. Building a classroom community where students feel safe to take risks and are comfortable with policing one another leads to increased opportunities for student learning.  Teachers who cultivate an environment of student ownership often see an increase in learning time within their classrooms.  Content is irrelevant if your students don’t like their teacher.  It’s important to maintain our relationships, not just build them.

2 Responses
  1. So true! Relationships are so important. I create a “Passion Wall” in my classroom where students are tasked in the first few days of school with writing down their top 3 passions/hobbies/loves. This allows me to reference the things that drive them and helps me to get to know them better. I also use it when i have to differentiate a lesson. I can relate the assignment/project/test to something they like, which in turns makes them more likely to pick up on the content they need to learn.

    Throughout the year, they are allowed to go up and change their passions if they want. After all, what we love today may not be what we love tomorrow. This is a great way to build relationships with my students.

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