Expert Teachers Influence Surface and DEEP Student Outcomes
Getting to know your students and demonstrating interest in them is the key to building and maintaining relationships which influence surface and deep student outcomes. When teachers focus on the whole child, students feel like a valued and necessary addition to the classroom. Teachers can demonstrate this through every day actions and comments.
Carry out supportive interaction strategies
Kaplan Early Learning Company, (2018) explains why supportive interactions are the foundation for building strong, healthy relationships with children. Being intentional is a key part to having an effective interaction strategy! The ways in which you interact with children should be well thought out and planned in advance. Intentional planning can help prevent challenging behaviors and promote children's social-emotional development.
Here are a few simple ways you can have supportive interactions with children:
Listen attentively to children by leaning forward, making eye contact, and asking questions about what they are telling you.
A simple smile or thumbs up can show children that you care while also comforting and reassuring students.
Let children know that you are happy to be their teacher by sending a note when they are sick, celebrating birthdays in the classroom, having casual conversations with them, and commenting on small changes in their appearance (e.g., a new haircut, a new shirt, or a new backpack). Name tag Goals Keeping individualized goals updated shows students that you are racking their individual progress along with them. Using velcrow on name tags doubles as a classroom management technique (moving/assigning seats quickly) but also as a way to interact with students. The name tag can have a recent goal you and the student has discussed or simply a note of encouragement for the day.
Lunch with the Teacher One way I show interest is by having lunch with students. During our lunch together, I ask about their favorites, share "secrets" about me, and we develop and practice our own "secret handshake." On the first day of school I always stress how happy I am to be their teacher and I continuously highlight my appreciation of their differences as learners and individuals. I share that learning 20+ different handshakes will be challenging, but they are each important to me so It will be worth it!
Specific Feedback Another way to interact meaningfully with each student is to give feedback that is specific to their growth and weaknesses! I love to engage one-on-one with students using a progress monitoring tool like a visual tracker. Students know that the teacher is aware of their strengths and weaknesses and will work to help them reach their individualized goals!
Home visits Home visits are strongly encouraged in our school district. I have found that home visits always strengthen relationships since students get to interact with you on a personal level at their home. Home visits foster a new level of trust among teachers and families. You can learn more about the student's culture, family, and home life. I enjoy this time most because teachers get to emerge themselves into each students reality, which can be used to make connections to both learning and motivation!