My main goal each year is to establish strong teacher-student relationships. Building these relationships will make the entire school year go much more smoothly. Even though most of your relationships are pretty established by mid-year, they can always continue to improve. For this reason, I held a 5-Day Challenge on my Instagram. These simple tasks were easy to implement each day.
Here are each of the five challenges in case you missed it, or you want to start implementing these now.
Building Teacher-Student Relationships Challenge #1
The first challenge is to greet EVERY single student as they come into your classroom every day.
I know that many of you already do this, but it is always a good reminder. The mornings can be especially busy, and it is easy to get distracted as more and more students come into your room.
Make it a point today to greet every student using their name.
Make eye contact as you welcome each child into your classroom.
You could give a high five, a hug, a handshake, or just a smile. Whatever works best for you and your students.
The second challenge is to have a REAL conversation with every student. I know that I am guilty of going through a day and realizing that I never really had a conversation with each student, especially those quiet students that can easily fade into the background.
If you need to, make a list of all of your students and check off their name after you have had a true, meaningful, interaction with them. You may be surprised at how easily it is to let some of your students slip by and go all day without you actually talking to them as an individual.
Some easy ideas include; complimenting their shirt, asking them what they had for dinner last night, discussing a favorite book, etc.
This goes well with the last challenge. You may have found some of your conversations with your students to be forced or all one sided with you doing all the talking. This is especially true for our shy students. I want you to ask every student a question related to their interests. Some examples are, “How is basketball going? Are you excited about your next game?” “How is your new puppy?” “How was recess today? What did you play? Who did you play with?”
Again, if it is easier for you, make a list of your students and check them off as you have these conversations.
Your students truly want to know that you care about them and that you listen to them. Really get to know their interests and learn more about them.
This is one that I have really been working on. Try to give each student specific positive feedback. I want to emphasize “specific.” Just telling a student, “Good job!” will not cut it. If a child does not know what it is that they are doing a good job at, the feedback will not serve its purpose. We need to be really specific if we want that behavior or motivation to continue.
“Wow, Mary. Your handwriting is beautiful today!”
“Jack, I love how found the answer to that questions by going back into your book.”
“Table 4 has done a fantastic job of getting their books opened quickly to page 12.”
This one will be a little more time consuming, so stretch it out over the next couple of days if needed. Make positive contact with each of your students’ families. I like to write a letter and mail it home, but you could also send a text, a message through Remind, or whatever app you use, or make a phone call.
Do NOT use this contact as a lead in to discuss a problem. Truly just make this a completely positive interaction. Let their families know something specific that their child has done that has been positive. (Increasing their reading level, something funny they said, a nice thing they did for a classmate, etc.)
Want to keep the conversations going? You may want to check out these two products.
I’d love to hear how your 5-Day Challenge went. Remember to pin this post as a good reminder for the beginning of each school year as well.