Welcome back to another exciting school year filled with opportunities to inspire and make a difference in the lives of our students. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a fresh face in the teaching world, starting the year off on the right foot is crucial. So, I’d like to share some ways to connect with students to make this year your best one yet!
The foundation of a successful year starts with building strong relationships with your students. Take the time to get to know them as individuals. Show genuine care and listen actively. A friendly and approachable teacher makes students feel valued and motivated to engage in the learning process.
Here are four ways I build relationships with my students as the school year gets started:
- Send a letter or postcard to your students a couple of weeks before school starts. Let them know that you are excited about the school year and glad to have them in your class. If you send a letter, you can also include a page about yourself so they can get to know you!
- Email your parents before school to introduce yourself and give them a chance to share about their child. Ask questions and invite them to respond to questions such as:
- What are your child’s strengths? Where might they need extra support?
- What are your child’s favorite/least favorite things?
- If you could describe your child in 3 words, what would they be?
- What are your hopes/goals for your child this year?
This is a great way to get to know your students a little more and show families that you care! You could also print out these questions and have parents fill them out at Meet the Teacher.
- ENCOURAGE! It means to put courage in someone! This is one of my favorite things to do to build relationships with my students. Lifting our students up with words is crucial. Even if you don’t see it yet, you can speak life into them with encouraging words! Keep a stack of post-its handy and just jot down encouraging notes to pass out during the day!
- Lastly, I like to give my students a little welcome gift during Meet the Teacher. This can be as simple as a fun sticker or pencil, or a little more elaborate like a treat bag. This year I made a fun note with corresponding things inside.
Building strong connections with your students and showing that you care are essential for success. When students feel supported, they are more likely to get involved in learning and do better in their studies. Taking the effort to understand them and cheering them on is an easy way to boost their motivation and open up new ways for learning!