How to Build Student Relationships Quickly
Building positive student relationships is one of the most important aspects of your classroom. Students are less likely to misbehave if they feel like their teacher really knows and values them. So how do we build strong, positive relationships with 25+ little people in our care? Here are some of my favourite ways:
Share a story about yourself
When you talk about things your students can relate to, they may share their personal experiences too. Do you have pets? Tell your class some of the cheeky things they have been up to! Share your hobbies and interests. You may have students who play the same sport and it will be easy to build up a rapport with them.
Ask the parents
Send home a quick email asking parents to reply with three pieces of information about your child. It could be based on their home life, hobbies, siblings or even work habits. Parents will also appreciate that you’re trying to know their child on a personal level.
When taking the morning attendance, instead of having the class reply with ‘here, yep, what?’ Ask them a question. It could start with their favourite colours, how many siblings they have, their favourite sport, holiday destination, where they were born etc. You can also throw in some interesting facts and when their name is called they have a go at answering the question. Here is a link to an interesting fact site for kids: https://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/riddles/jokes/fun-facts-and-trivia/index.htm
Start at the doorway
When your students arrive, greet them in the doorway as they come through in a fun manner. You could have a different greeting for each day of the week, such as fist bumps, high 5’s, winking, Thumbs up and a free choice day.
Your students are more likely to respect and listen to you if you have formed a positive relationship with them from the beginning of the year. As an added bonus, you will be able to use the knowledge you have on your class to help with their work. ‘What do you mean you have nothing to write about? You said you had your soccer grand final on the weekend, let’s write about that!’