Four Ways to Connect with Students
When you need to talk to them individually, pull up a chair at their desk and talk at their level. The principal may come to your door and not see you at first because you are buried among the kids. He or she is likely to be impressed by how you are connecting with your students.
When they are more interested in using their big muscles than using their minds – meet them outside or in the gym for some activity before expecting them to work on schoolwork numbers and letters. If that’s not possible try some movement in the classroom that uses big muscles (walking, marching, stretching, lifting, etc.).
When they want to talk endlessly about their special interest (music, video games, dinosaurs, etc.) hear them out, pay attention, and be impressed. Listen and learn. Let them be the expert. Hopefully in return they will see you as the expert on school subjects.
Read to them once in a while – even though they can read all by themselves. Give them a rest from learning new things and just let them enjoy what is easy and comforting to them. A person is never too old to be read to.
The following are writing prompts and discussion topics about connecting with students.
Which of the above ways to connect with students do you think teachers should try with students your age? Explain why you think teachers should try that way?
Describe your own suggestion for how teachers can connect with students your age.
Do you agree that “a person is never too old to be read to”? Why or why not?
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
- For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
- Use the blog for discussion topics
- Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
- For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
- Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
- Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
- Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
- What would be your advice on this topic?
- What was left out of this article?
- If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
- Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
- Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
- The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.