Building Relationships

Building relationships with your students is so important for their success throughout the school year, and your success as well.  The impact you as an educator can make on a student by building a relationship with them in immeasurable.  I am reminded of this every time I run into one of my former students.  Just today I saw one of my former students that is a sophomore at the university I currently work at.  She came over and had to have a hug when I walked up, and another one before she left.  Believe it or not, I taught her when she was in fourth grade.  Building a relationship with this student has lasted past the regular school year and into her adulthood.  She did not know it, but she made my day!  I hope seeing me made her’s too.  I have been invited to special occasions for former students, out for a meal, and even high school graduation.  Yes it took time and effort to build those relationships with all of my students, but it was so worth it.  I had less discipline problems in the classroom.  I started the year learning all of their names and called them by name as much as I could.  This helped me learn their names, but it also let them know that they mattered to me.  Once I had their names down, I moved on to learn interesting facts about each student.  What did they like to do outside of school?  Did they play sports or have other activities outside of school?  I would have individual and small group conversations about these topics.  Because I was interested in my students beyond the classroom walls, they knew that I cared about them.  Building those relationships was to cornerstone of my teaching success, and still is.  Take time each day to let students know you care about them beyond the school.  It will make them feel special and they will never forget how you made them feel.  I still love every student that I have taught like they were my own kids.  They continue to inspire me to take the time to built new relationships to grow my school family.