Building relationships with your students is so important. As teachers, we have a huge responsibility to not only educate our students, but to build real relationships with them.
To me, this is my number one joy in being a teacher. I absolutely love to build strong relationships with students. I like to get to know their likes and dislikes, their interests, and their families. These relationships are SO important!
So, how do you build strong relationships with your students?
TALK TO YOUR STUDENTS AND LET THEM TALK TO YOU.
I understand how hard it is to fit everything into your school day. We have so much learning that needs to take place, but I cannot stress enough the importance of giving your students the chance to talk and tell their stories. Do I let my students tell me stories all day long? Absolutely not, even though some will try. Instead, every morning during Morning Meeting, I give students the opportunity to share. If I have a funny story or something to share, this is the time I do this as well. Students LOVE learning about their teacher.
We also do a Question of the Day during Morning Meeting. These always lead to amazing discussions, and you can learn so much about your students.
ASK THE PARENTS TO TELL YOU ABOUT THEIR CHILD.
Obviously, no one knows a child like their parent(s). I always send home a questionnaire and a request for a letter so I can get to know each child from a parent’s perspective. As a parent myself, I love this for my own children. It is so nice to be able to tell a teacher about my child’s unique qualities, interests, and learning style. (Click on either of the pictures below to download this FREEBIE.)
PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO SHARE ABOUT THEMSELVES.
This is especially important at the beginning of the school year when the students are all trying to get to know each other. I love to do All About Me Bags the first week of school. I send home a paper bag with each student, and they have to place 5 items in the bag to tell about themselves. They love sharing these with their classmates.
We also create flipbooks during the first week to tell about each student and what they hope to learn during their 1st grade year.
TAKE NOTES ABOUT YOUR STUDENTS INTERESTS AND HOBBIES.
As much as I’d like to say I can remember things, if I’m being honest with myself, I have to write down EVERYTHING! I like to keep a notebook handy to write down little fun facts about my students. I write down any sports they play, teams they like, favorite movies or tv shows, etc. This allows me to share their interests with them. “How was dance class last night?” “Are you excited to watch the Colts play this weekend?”
I created this fun editable note taking sheet if you’re interested.
GREET YOUR STUDENTS EVERY DAY.
Every morning when your students come into your classroom, greet them. Whether it’s with a high five, a hug, or just a smile and a “Good Morning,” make sure you acknowledge they are there. Can you imagine if you walked into work, a meeting, or a party, and no one acknowledged you?
What are your tips for building a relationship with your students?