To the World, You May Just be a Teacher, but to your Students, You are a HERO!
- A high school student chooses to share the news that he recently got a part in a community play with his teacher because he knows that his teacher will show genuine interest in his success.
- A fourth-grade boy who is struggling in math shows comfort in admitting to his teacher that he needs help with multiplying and dividing fractions even if most of the students in the class have moved beyond this work.
- A middle school girl experiences bullying from other students and approaches her social studies teacher to discuss it because she trusts that the teacher will listen and help without making her feel socially inept.
“Instead of thinking about whether you are a ''glass-half-full'' or ''glass-half-empty'' person, why not ask, ''What's in the glass?''. Figure that out, work from there and use it to your advantage.”
What can you do to improve this relationship you share with your kids at school? (the Do’s)
- How about making an effort to get to know and connect with each student in your classroom? (Are you crazy? We’ve got 30-40 students in one class, how can you talk to each student and at the same time complete the syllabus?)
Well, yeah! I do see a problem here. But every problem has a solution!
I remember, an exercise we used to practice at work – Pen it down! In an extra period, why not ask your students to pick a piece of paper & write down their thoughts and hand it over to you! This way, you can know which one of them is in urgent need to talk. A whole year is enough time to know a class of 40, isn’t it?
Knowing is a slow process, but interesting indeed!!!
- Children see you as their mentors, role models. How about being aware of the explicit and implicit messages you are giving to your students? Be careful to show your students that you want them to do well in school through both actions and word.
- It is very important to create a positive climate in your classroom by focusing not only on improving your relationships with your students but also enhancing the relationships among your students. Be aware that you are modeling behavior for your students, whether intentional or not.
What should you avoid doing with your students? (Don’ts)
- (Assumptions are injurious to a healthy relationship). Don’t assume that being kind and respectful to students is enough to bolster achievement. Ideal classrooms have more than a single goal: teachers hold students to appropriately high standards of academic performance and offer students an opportunity for an emotional connection to their teachers, their fellow students, and the school.
- Some children are introvert, some are shy, so don’t give up too quickly on your efforts to develop positive relationships with difficult students. These students will benefit from a good teacher-student relationship as much or more than their easier-to-get-along-with peers.
- Not only elementary school students but also middle and high school students benefit from such relationships as well especially in times like now, when the social media influences, like a termite are feasting upon our wooden blocks of values.
- Assuming that relationships are inconsequential is not right. Some research suggests that preschool children who have a lot of conflict with their teachers show an increase in stress hormones when they interact with these teachers.
- Don’t wait for negative behaviors and interactions to occur in the classroom. Instead, take a proactive stance on promoting a positive social experience by including students in discussions about pro-social interactions and consistently modeling these positive interactions for them.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William Arthur Ward.