Building relationships with students is the foundation to student success. Here are three strategies for building strong relationships:
1. Meet with small groups or individuals and ask them what they want in their classroom. Work to incorporate elements of their ideas into everyday activities you probably already have planned. Point out how you have used specific students’ ideas to improve the classroom (i.e. “Ezra had the idea to play more games in class. Today we are going to play a math game called Guess My Number. Thank you Ezra for that great idea!”).
2. Ensure you make a personal connection to every student in your class in the first month of school. Keep a record of each student and at least one personal connection you can make (i.e. You notice Maria likes the singer Demi Lovato. Ask Maria what her favorite Demi Lovato song is. Listen to the song and then share with Maria what you liked about it, even if you have to work really hard to find something!).
3. Use ice breaker activities to facilitate students getting to know one another and you. Here are some examples:
For younger students: www.activityvillage.co.uk/ice-breaker-games
For middle school students: www.cultofpedagogy.com/classroom-icebreakers/
For high school students: icebreakerideas.com/icebreakers-high-school-students/