Relationship building is the most important way to make an impact on a child’s life. Very often, children cannot learn from someone they cannot communicate with. I am also convinced that building a strong relationship with a child or young adult reduces many behavioural problems. Several times I worked with students who had “behavioural problems” in the classrooms of several teachers. These teachers thought I was crazy when I said, “They worked very well for me!” and I would even invite them to come and see these students working with me in the resource room. Building this link is the best proactive strategy to support learning and classroom management. It’s a no-brainer.
It is essential to work early to establish these relationships, as it becomes more difficult if a student acts first in a class. At this point, so often the teacher and the student do not already get along. Resentment is mounting and resolving this relationship is becoming more and more difficult. It can be done, but it starts with us as adults. So whether you’re at the beginning of the school year or in the middle of a year, use these strategies to work to build and strengthen your relationships with each of your students.
1-Talk to them about non-school-related topics.
Find out more about the local fair in town, what pizza is like in the city’s new restaurant and even discuss the best phone of the moment.
2-Let them tell you about their interests.
Letting children teach their teacher can be very stimulating for them. A few years ago, I worked with an 8th grader who knew everything about motocross. He taught me dirt bike racing, bike customization and local practice places. I’ll be the first to tell you that you’ll never see me on a dirt bike, but that didn’t stop me from learning! I even chose my potential bike gear if I ever ran. In my last years as an educator, I learned everything from My Little Pony to makeup to robotics and basketball. Find out how each student is an expert and let them teach you.
3-Remember things about their lives.
During a lesson, activity, discussion or just an interaction in the room, talk about something you remember about that student. As time goes by, ask them how their team did during the game over the weekend. In the afternoon, start a conversation about a student’s family or the journey they are taking soon. These small gestures remind children that you really know them and that you care about them.
4-Share your own life.
This is one of the most effective ways to create links from the beginning. Share your family, pets, holidays and activities outside of school. My college kids loved hearing about my dog, Nova. In fact, we had a joke going on that if you wanted to distract me from the class, just talk about Nova. It really helps children see you as a real person. It is important to keep limits, of course, but a balance can and must be done.
5-Take part in activities with them.
If you are after school and see children playing basketball, run and take some shots. It’s not a problem if you’re not a basketball star. Children don’t care. Instead, they will love your participation. Maybe they can even give you tips on how to play. Register with students during the art club or encourage a student to meet athletics. I know the educators are busy. Note that you don’t have to stay all the time or devote yourself to any of these activities. Just stopping and showing that you care about you will help strengthen those relationships over time.
6-Tell hilarious (and even embarrassing) stories.
Sharing fun stories helps you show vulnerability in front of your students. It shows that you are a real person. The time my dog barked fiercely at a snowman on a walk. When I spent a lot of money on concert tickets to stand right behind a 6’5″ man (note that I have 4’11”). The time I slipped completely into a pile of mud from my arms to my toes. These real-life stories are ideal to evoke when you need to attract the attention of children or move the energy into the energy of the room. And believe me, the kids will remember it!
7-Share inspiring stories from your life.
I loved sharing with my learners that I was the first in my family to go to university and pay for it myself. I let them know that it was actually my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Therrien, who told me that I could be the first in my family to do it, and she was right. I also loved sharing with my students planning my trip to California, a place I’ve always dreamed of going to. These stories help children see you as a real person, but also remind children that they too can achieve their goals and dreams
8-Do crazy things.
Don’t be afraid to do something different or wild in the classroom to get the children’s attention! Stand on a desk or chair while giving important instructions, sing a song about a lesson, or. I’m pretty sure I embarrassed my college kids with my songs, such as ‘Write Your Name’ (to the tune of ‘Say My Name’ from Destiny’s Child) and ‘Who Let the Students Out’ (to the tune of ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’). But above all, these experiences stood out for the children. It’s good if you’re not very comfortable doing everything. relationship Start with one thing outside your comfort zone!
9-Use their interests in your lessons and activities.
Sometimes it takes a bit of planning, but can go very far! If you’re studying math percentages, talk about the percentages of shots a member of a basketball team. If you learn more about energy in science, discuss the energy used in a race car. There are so many options for this throughout the year.
10-Apologize when you’re wrong.
Making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad teacher. This happens to everyone, even the best and most experienced educators. However, we must acknowledge our mistakes when we make relationship. I’m really sorry when you make a mistake. For some reason, sometimes adults don’t like to do that, but it really helps build confidence.