If you ask any seasoned teacher about the best classroom management technique most probably all will say to start with building relationships. And I wholeheartedly agree but if you are a new teacher you probably wonder why and how to build relationships with students.
First the why, although they are kids there is so much they deal with that we are unaware of and you (as the teacher) may be the only stable thing in their life. And if a student doesn’t feel that you care then they will not care about learning. I have a student who when we returned from break that told me that he felt I didn’t like him. After talking with him I realized there were deeper things happening. He felt like I didn’t like him because I was the only teacher that communicated with his mom about his behavior and that I didn’t give enough positive feedback. He did admit that he could improve his behavior but he wanted me to also recognize when he does well. And I know that if he didn’t feel he could talk to me that he would have continued acting out and feeling that I didn’t like him. I always tell my team that scholars are not going to behave well for people they don’t like and relationships are the key.
However, do not fall into these pitfalls. Building relationships doesn’t mean becoming more of a friend than an authority figure. I’ve seen teachers sink because they joke and play around so much that when it’s time to get serious they can’t control the class. That’s when you see the talking back, defiance, and disrespect, or teacher yelling and blowing up and the kids don’t understand why they are in trouble.
Another pitfall is being insincere. We think kids can’t tell but they really can. Be authentic in your interactions with your scholars the relationships will come naturally.
So what are some ways to build authentic relationships with your scholars.
- Morning meetings are a great way to learn about your scholars and make sure you participate so they can get to know you.
- Morning greetings I’ve seen some fun and creative ways to greet your scholars in the morning. At the beginning of school I gave the option of hug fist bump or handshake now I only give hugs because that’s what they want. Not only my home room but several from my other sections come by each morning for their hug and tell me stories. Best part of my day!
- Our first week of school we ate lunch with our kiddos and got to know them.
- Recess is also a good time to build relationships
- Incorporating class discussions into your teaching
Building relationships is so important to classroom management that it’s quite impossible to teach without the relationships. So all my fellow teachers what are some things that you do to build relationships?