RELATIONSHIPS MATTER AND IT STARTS WITH CONNECTION
Continuing to Build Teacher-Student Relationships can still happen with a little reflection on activities you were already doing. Re-think how you can still accomplish the main objective.
- Make a Personal Connection with your students daily (ideal) but weekly (great) by name.
HOW? A couple ideas:
Using applications like Google Hang-out hold a virtual Morning Meeting.
If they don’t have the same software or programs but do have a computer, send a video of yourself talking personally to your student by name. If you can make a brief five minute video in a familiar environment, you will help create a comfortable setting too.
No Computer in the home, then hold small group chats using applications like What’s up or Marco Polo. This allows those who don’t have a computer to connect visually with you on their phones.
If no technology, send a Letter with a picture of you in the classroom (*familiar place/things), include pre-stamped, self-addressed envelopes for student to write back with (photo or drawn) pictures.
Above are just a few ideas on how to stay connected with each student by name.
FOR PARENTS: Since we know that connections are important to emotional well-being, why not use this as an opportunity to teach Parents and students why greeting each other each morning when they rise is also important. Even though we live in the same home and see each other every day isn’t an excuse. If that were, then the same would be for teachers right? You too see the kids every day, are busy with many tasks first thing in the mornings, but you know the extreme importance of giving your students 100% of your attention when that bell rings. Looking them in the eye, saying good morning or doing a knuckle shake or high five as they walk in the door. In the Morning Meeting, the greeting is the first component that is implemented every day. It makes kids feel included, acknowledged and connected. In the end, it is an important piece of relationship building. So teaching kids to come down the stairs, walk into the kitchen and greet their parents with a good morning Mom and Dad, or a hug , starts everyone’s day off on a positive note!
Remember, Parents bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge about their child to the educational table. Teachers, you bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge about child development, curriculum, instructional strategies, individual learning styles, meeting the needs of all learners, and much more. Each of you are extremely important to the development of and implementation of the educational process now more than ever. Continuing to build and develop your partnership with parents will help to ensure students succeed during these challenging time. Taking the time to connect individually with each parent won’t be easy nor will it be without its own challenges but it will be worth the effort. In the end both the parent and you will benefit from the relationship and connection during this “stay at home” isolation and of course the kids will be even better for it. WHY? The given reasons are that when parents are involved in a child’s education, students perform better. Right now parents are in a place where they must get involved. Your connection with the parents and fostering this objective of parents’ involvement can support it carrying on long after this situation is over. Plus you will be teaching them “How” to be involved to make a real difference. Finally, you will be connecting with other adults. This is something that will support your emotional and social well-being too.
REMEMBER: When you fill someone else’s bucket you fill yours too! My hope is you will be connecting with your students daily/weekly by name in a personal way to continue developing your relationship and keep that community of learners feeling safe, secure and nurtured. . Also by connecting with your students’ parents weekly,/bi-weekly by name in a personal way you will build a partnership in educating their child. In the end, my hope is that you See and Feel your Bucket overflowing with kindness, caring, compassion and a better tomorrow!