I teach at an alternative high school / residential treatment center. Consequently, we have required training beyond what the school district requires. FYI: I work for the school district at the treatment center – odd, I know, but it works. Today was the first part of MANDT training.
I was reminded – again – of the importance of building relationships with students. I’m not the greatest at this, but I can grow. Building relationships can help eliminate many classroom management issues. Like many of us, I default to my old habits when I’m tired, worn down, or just over kids pushing limits.
Deep down, I think kids want to be valued and honored. They want to know their voice is heard. For the students I work with, this seldom happens. I can do more to move them from victim mentality to responsibility. Mostly it means taking time – time that is precious – to listen and question their beliefs about themselves, to help them see beyond a hopeless future to a future full of options.
This year, I’m going to try my best to get to school just a few minutes sooner so I can breathe just a little and set my mind on positive thoughts. My theory is if I start in a good frame of mind, it will be easier to maintain a relationship mindset. I’m also going to look for and take advantage of those moments when I can engage in meaningful conversations.
What do you do to build positive relationships with students? Comment below.