Friday, July 25, 2014

Back to School Tips - Set Aside the Chevron Welcome Banner

There seems like there are a million things to get done around back to school time! Classroom set up, lesson plans, meet and greets, labeling, establishing routines and procedures....it can be such an overwhelming time for teachers! With such a heavy load, it is possible for us teachers to temporarily forget what is really important. For me, there is no point in having the cutest classroom decor (and you all know I love to make things pretty!) or the latest innovation in teaching and learning, if I don't know my students and they are not attached to me. Building connection and trust in the classroom affects the way our students learn, the way we teach and the way our class runs. So if you are running out of time before school starts to get that chevron welcome banner finished, set it aside and make a plan on how you will make your students feel welcome as you get to know them.


How do we build relationship and connection in the classroom you might ask? Much the same as you or I would in our adult lives - spending time together, starting conversations without being invasive, showing interest, finding common ground, being trustworthy, showing respect, making eye contact, listening. I have mentioned before that little ones love speaking about themselves. I recently found out that us adults are not that different. The lovely Lucy from Here's an Idea from Lucy S asked me to be an interviewee for her Teacher-Authors Around the World Series. I was flattered that she was interested in my story and initiated a virtual get-together. As we were chatting, I realized she knew and remember many things from our previous interactions. Lucy had listened to me! We communicated about our common interest (education) and explored unknown territory. I am excited about our new friendship, which I hope will grow with time and contact, and all because Lucy asked me to talk about myself :) You can head on over to Lucy's blog to check out the full interview.


Showing interest in our students is the first step to building a trusting relationship. All the cute decor and educational innovations in the world won't matter much if your students are not connected to you. Here's a nice freebie to help get the ball rolling. Just click on the image below. Don't forget to complete one yourself! After all, it is not just the little ones who enjoy talking about themselves ;)


Linking up with Brownbag Academics Back to School Blog Hop. Click on the image to check out more Back to School Teacher Tips!



14 comments:

  1. What a cute book! Thank you for sharing it.
    Artistry of Education

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    1. My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I totally agree with you. If we don't connect with the kids, it doesn't matter what our classroom looks like or how fancy our lessons are. Kids love to hear about us and learn that we do have a life outside of the classroom.Thanks for reminding us of that.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom/Diamond Mom's Treasury

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    1. Thanks for your comment Charlene! I think we are on the same page!

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  3. I agree that building relationships with students is crucial. If teachers succeed in doing that, things run much more smoothly.

    I love connecting with people, kids or adults, and I'm glad to say that I've now got a new Aussie friend ;)

    - Lucy

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    1. I have loved connecting with you Lucy! Thanks so much!

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  4. You're absolutely right. Building community is the most important thing in a classroom and it needs to be established on day one! Awesome!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and thanks again for organizing the hop, Mackenzie!

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  5. Great article, Jean! Your products are all so nice and helpful:)
    Debbie
    K-4 Teaching Resources

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  6. Found your blog thru the TBTS blog hop. I'm your newest google +/bloglovin follower. That All About Me book is cute with the banner across each page! Have a great start to the year!
    Chrissy
    First Grade Found Me

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    1. Thanks Chrissy! I'm glad you like the book! Nice to have found you too!

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  7. I like your reminder for the teacher to fill in the book, too. Kids love getting to know us better &, as you say, that leads to warmer relationships. Thanks for the sweet freebie!

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    1. You are most welcome! So pleased to have found and followed you via this hop!

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