Adventures and Lessons in Mentoring New Teachers

Goal 25 … Connect with your Students

April 3rd 2011 in 30 Goals, Classroom Environment

Goal 25:  Build Relationships With Them

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” ~ Carl Jung

I’ve always believed in the power of Bill Daggett’s “3 R’s”– Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. As a teacher, I have often spent countless hours after school attending my students’ events – clubs, music, sports, etc.  Having 4 children of my own has made this difficult, so this year, as a mentor, I have been looking for ideas that would help continue this idea. Goal 25 connections

In one of my mentees classes, I was reminded of an simple method of connecting with students. At the beginning of the year, as most teachers do, Ms. Y gave out an interest sheet to every student. (I must admit in the past, I have often given one to students only to file it away rarely looking at it again.) Ms. Y, however, took the time to ink up their page.  She remarked on their interests, commented on their favorite things, and asked questions about ideas/interests she found unique.  She used a bright colored pen, made copies, and gave the originals back to her students.  From that moment, Ms. Y’s students knew that she not only cared about them, but that they had something in common.  Her extra efforts eased the management issues in her classroom because of the relationships she built with each of her students.

How do you connect with your students?  Do they know that you care about them?  What community building activities could you add each week to make your classroom more welcoming?


Short-term – Share with us an activity or how you build and cultivate relationships with your students or share with us the great work of someone who does an incredible job of developing relationships with their students.
Long-term – Attend student events or create other opportunities to help cultivate student relationships.

Great Posts and Educators!

•   Love Them Before You Know Them by Greta Sandler
•   About mountains, challenges and teaching by Cecilia Lemos
•   The Gift of Emily by George Couros

Build and cultivate relationships with your students!

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In following David Dodgson’s idea, that I discovered via Naomi Epstein’s tweet, I “CLOUDED” my website and discovered some very interesting insights.  To begin with, I didn’t get the results that I expected. 

What does it tell you about the content of your writing?

I find it interesting that the most repeated words in my blog [...]

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“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.” ~ Sonia Johnson

Tonight, I was training new teachers in an “orientation to our district” course that is usually taught to newly hired teachers in August.  [...]

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