The best-kept secrets of building student relationships can be found in this post and put into practice in your classroom today! With a little planning, your classroom community will grow into a safe and welcoming environment for all students.
Building Student Relationships Starts on Day One
The very first moment you meet a student can make a huge impact on your relationship with a student and how they feel about the classroom.
I always make an effort to know each of my student’s names before I meet them and greet them with the biggest smile I can. This gives students the impression I am happy to see them, which I most certainly am!
On the first day of school, give students LOTS of chances to speak with their peers and build common bonds through cooperative learning activities, get to know you games, and common experiences.
The connections made on that first day will impact the entire year.
They CAN Include Content
A lot of teachers view student relationship building as an area all its own, an it can be. It can also include content.
I love to use team and class builders that incorporate content, because it is a double whammy of community and learning!
For ideas, check out this post.
Peer Relationships & Student-Teacher Relationships Matter
The classroom community is made up of a lot of relationships. You have peer to peer relationships as well as teacher to student relationships and more in between with other people who come to the classroom throughout the day.
Every one of these relationships is valuable and should be treated like gold.
To help students bond with one another, my go to is cooperative learning strategies.
My go to for building teacher student relationships is the 10×2 method, which you can read more about here. Where you spend two minutes every day for ten days speaking with a student about anything they want to talk about.
For more ideas to build your teacher student relationships, check out this post.
Building Student Relationships Should Be a Priority All Year
We all plan a load of class and team builders in the beginning of the year, especially the first week. This work needs to continue all year long to keep the classroom community strong.
Like any relationship, student relationships are work and have to be tended to. I would suggest incorporating at least two class builders and two team builders a week. Remember, you can include content!
Every Day is New
Life is hard for all of us. We all have a bad day now and again. Every new day in the classroom is a new start. No room for grudges, ever.
Include Students in the Classroom Environment
One of the easiest ways to make sure your students feel included and welcome in the classroom is by including them in the environment.
You can do this through photos, student created artwork, student work, or more!
Instead of painstakingly designing your classroom to be worthy of Architectural Digest, have your students select and create items to decorate the walls. This shows them it is their space and keeps your classroom community strong.
How Do You Build Student Relationships?
I want to know, how do you build student relationships throughout the school year?
What challenges are you facing when it comes to student relationships?
Let me know.
Check This Out!
Ready to include more relationship building in your classroom? Check out these cooperative learning activities that allow students to get to know one another while working collaboratively!