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  • Writer's pictureMiss K

Positive Student-Teacher Relationships: 10 Ways to Connect with Kids

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Developing positive student-teacher relationships is a breeze when you practice these ten ways to connect with students. We all know that teaching is more than just passing on facts to students. We know that teaching is equipping, motivating, influencing, and shaping kids to be life-long learners and successful adults! Also, it is showing them how to interact with others and be productive citizens. One of our most powerful tools for accomplishing these goals is positive student-teacher relationships. When they trust us, they are more able and willing to learn from us. The following are some ways to build positive student-teacher connections during the time you have together in the classroom or online when we are teaching remotely. 1. Positive Student-Teacher Relationships Require Getting to Know Your Students This is the place to start! How can you have a relationship with people you don’t know? Seek to find out about your students and to show interest in them. Many of these ideas work well toward the beginning of the school year. Repeat them as new students enter the classroom or join you virtually. Alternately, repeat them at the end of the year to see how they have changed over the year.

2.“All about me!”Develop student confidence by having students write and share about themselves so that you can learn more about them. Schedule a few kids to share each day and encourage them to bring in something special to school or to share during an online morning meeting.

  • Back to School Community Building Activities These activities are the perfect companion to your start of school lesson plans. Find mini-lesson ideas and engaging activities that build connections in the classroom and teach valuable social and emotional skills to children during the most crucial time of year!

  • Interview your students – Have a sit-down or face-to-face talk online with each student, asking them serious or fun questions to learn more about them.

  • Presentations – Have students create a presentation about their life and present it to the class. Listen and ask questions after each presentation. This might be an excellent activity to repeat at the end of the school year to show how they have changed.

  • Listen to Your Students: As teachers, we can get so wrapped up in the things that we want to get done. We sometimes forget to slow down and truly listen to our students. Establishing and maintaining a connection with students is vital and takes deliberate effort. Here are some ideas for keeping the lines of communication open.

  • Morning Meetings this routine requires the whole class to come together each day and is a favorite routine among many teachers. During this time, listen to your students, and find out what they’re interested in, what their biggest worries are, and validate or repeat them, so they know you hear them and understand.

  • Dialogue journals – This tool can be an ongoing way to touch base with students. Each student has a journal in which the teacher may ask a question or write a thought. Afterward, the student responds. The conversation can continue back and forth and cover any range of topics.

  • “Office time” – If possible, have some time in the mornings or during times when students are not in your room that you are available if a student needs to discuss an issue with you. By letting the students know when this “office time” is, they will be able to come and talk to you alone, without their classmates listening. Offer “virtual office hours” for when you are available to meet with students online.

  • Ice-Breaker games – These are fun ways to get students connecting in different ways. Find many enjoyable community-building activities, plus get to know you games that work well if you are teaching in person.

  • Develop a Positive Classroom Environment If students are part of a positive class environment, they are more likely to be able to relax and connect to those around them. As teachers, we have a lot of power in setting the tone of the class.

  • Use a positive reinforcement  system –Rather than emphasize the negative and punishments, focus on rewarding positive behavior. Here is a set of editable reward coupons you can use that don’t involve the prize box. You can use Class Dojo to keep track of the rewards they earn whether you are in the classroom or online.

  • Speak Calmly – A calm demeanor and slow, clear, and gentle speech are contagious. Even when things inside seem crazy, stay calm, and lead the way to productive conversation and leadership. Encouraging kids to remain calm and develop self-regulation strategies will lead to healthier relationships going forward.

  • Morning meetings – Incorporate morning meeting time into each day as a way to connect with your students. Here are some great slides you can use throughout the year to facilitate conversation in your morning meeting time.

  • Encourage Kindness– Children will learn how to be kind to peers and authority figures when you set the tone and expectations for behavior, as well as provide learning opportunities for practicing kindness.

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