Your job is so important! As a first or second grade teacher, you make engaging lessons, show up for your students every day, and communicate with parents. You set up your classroom to make sure your students learn and grow. You differentiate instruction to make sure your lucky little learners are getting what they need to be successful. Where do you start to make your classroom and your students’ experiences the best they can be? It all starts with the relationship. These ways to build relationships with students will help encourage your learners to be the best they can be!
Start each day with a greeting and a smile.
Saying “hello” with a handshake, hug, or simply a smile every morning can go a long way to building a healthy classroom environment and strong relationships with your students. By being front and center when your students enter the classroom, you show them they are the priority. Your students are why you come to work every day. Encourage them and show them how much you care every day.
Take an interest in their outside of school lives.
Self-confidence is one of the character skills we focus on in The Encouraging Classroom. Some of your students may not come to you with a lot of outside support from family or peers. Be their biggest cheerleader. Ask them about what they love to do to help build their self-confidence. Have them showcase their talents. If you have a little learner that loves to dance, take a dance break in class. Perhaps, attend some of their concerts, plays, and sporting events. If you’re not able to make it to some of these outside events, still allow your students to share their videos, pictures, and just talk about their hobbies and interests in class. One way to do this is to have an end of the day meeting on Mondays or Fridays to talk about the upcoming events or plans your students have in the next week.
Start each day fresh.
It’s almost guaranteed that you will have at least one student that has some bad days in class. They may act out, struggle academically, or show disrespect to you or their peers. Remind your students that each day is a new day. Although consequences may be necessary for misbehavior, it doesn’t mean you love them any less. Showing the character skills of empathy and compassion in your own encouraging classroom will help your students in their journey towards positive, healthy behaviors in your class.
Model positive character skills through read-alouds.
Many students and parents have told me that they remember some of the books and stories I shared in my classes in order to help students learn character skills. I know as a teacher, I had to search and spend so much time finding the best books to share with my students. That’s why I love The Encouraging Classroom. This membership gives you monthly character trait lessons and book suggestions to share with your students. Lucky little learners love when you read stories aloud, and when they teach a lesson and focus on character education, it’s a bonus!
Building relationships with your students is so important. You may be the person they will spend the most time with Monday-Friday. Take an active interest in their personal lives, share their successes, and help them when they encounter obstacles. You can use these ways to build relationships with students to help them feel safe and loved in your classroom every day!
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