My first year of teaching I had a student I couldn’t seem to reach. I thought I was doing everything right. Engaging lessons were planned. I encouraged students to work together through cooperative learning strategies. Extra time was spent with my students by having lunch together in the classroom once a week.
What I didn’t do was take the time to get to know my students as people, instead of students. This was my critical mistake.
Once I realized I needed to get to know my students as people, not students, the tide turned. Our classroom became more of a family and less of a group of people randomly thrown together. Some strategies for getting to know my students were no-brainers I needed to stop thinking about and just do. While others required a bit more effort, but they were ALL worth it.