So, how do I get to this point of the year? When I know my students well, have formed relationships with them and classroom routines run smoothly? It takes September, October, November and December to make January and the rest of the year go well.
As teachers, we all know that in order to establish routines we need to be clear about what they are, model them and then expect students to follow. This means being consistent and persistent. But, I have learned and experienced that students will be more likely to follow routines and classroom guidelines when there is a relationship with the teacher. Getting to know the kids and developing that relationship is the first step and something I take very seriously.
Here are 5 things that I do to intentionally build relationships with my students:
- Greet the children at the door every morning with a handshake and a hello.
- Say goodbye at the end of the day with a hug, high-five or handshake - their choice.
- Write notes back when they give me letters and pictures.
- Ask them every Monday morning to share about their weekend.
- Identify their love language. It you have never read the 5 Love Languages of Kids, by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend that you do. It is written for parents, but it is equally applicable to teachers. Getting to know your child's love language will help you know how they best feel love and acceptance. The five types of love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.