We all know when someone cares about us. Students come to school hoping they will be liked and accepted. A teacher that takes the time to know each student creates a solid foundation of trust. Learning is often connected to experiences and emotions. When a child feels secure, learning can move into long term memory.
From the start of the school year find out what your students are interested in. What do they want to know more about? Use an interest inventory. Share your hobbies, favorite sports, songs, movies. Take time to establish an atmosphere of security and respect.
Class meetings are a good way to teach social skills, establish community and foster open communication. Regularly check the status of the class. Encourage problem-solving with teacher guidance.
Give sincere compliments. Model how to show appreciation. Have students practice through role play.
Have students bring an object from home that is meaningful to them. Ask for volunteers to share what it is and why it is meaningful. You could do this on Mondays to get students to think about what was shared. Building connections in the classroom will benefit everyone.
Teachers, I hope you have a safe, productive, positive school year!