Saturday, July 29, 2017

Seven Tips for Building Strong Relationships with High School Students

Dr. Rita Pierson is one of my personal teacher heroes. In her May 2013 TED Talk, Dr. Pierson asserted that “every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists they become the best they can possibly be.” Her talk was one that gifted me with a worldview shift. I spent my college years in my education classes learning how to be the authority figure that students needed and, in some ways, I think I forgot one of the more important parts of the job: being a good person in the lives of my students. Dr. Pierson’s talk reminded me that we must foster relationships with our students; this is the key to getting kids to work for you and to work for themselves. I have since focused just as much energy on cultivating positive relationships with my students as I have on my lesson plans. Building a classroom community and one-on-one relationships with students is an art; it takes time, effort, and thoughtfulness to craft a rock-solid foundation on which to build the rest of your classroom dynamic. In my experience, though, laying the groundwork made of trust, honesty, and enjoyment in each other’s company will radically change the work that happens both in and out of the classroom.
Here are seven essential tips I have discovered for building strong classroom relationships with your secondary students.

Show interest in their lives outside of the classroom.
From day one in the classroom, I start looking for hints into students’ interests outside of my English classroom: a football jersey on Friday nights, a gamer’s guide stacked in among the spiral bound notebooks, family photos slid into the front covers of binders, the music that blasts out of their ear buds. I take note of these little things, and I wait for the opportunity to engage students in a conversation. I wish them luck at the game that night, or I might mention that if they like playing Fallout 4 then I’ve got some book suggestions for them, or I might play a certain genre of music in class that day to start a conversation. Students are perceptive, despite the fact we often wonder if they are aware of anything going on around them. If you show interest in who they are, they will often respond by showing interest in who you are. This unlocks the chance to share your enthusiasm for your subject and to hopefully hook them.

Stay relevant.
I’m not recommending that you start flipping bottles, playing with fidget spinners, or using teenager lingo. I do suggest that you read the books they are reading, try to see the movies they are watching, listen to the songs they recommend, and check out the Netflix shows they are talking about. It is a lot easier to make a connection with someone if you have common ground, so put in effort at maintaining those commonalities.


Be yourself.
During my first year teaching, I adopted this “ultimate teacher” persona, a weird mix of my favorite teachers from high school. The problem with picking and choosing personality quirks from various others was that I became strangely inconsistent in my classroom management techniques and I was often questioning myself, wondering what those other teachers would have done. By the end of the school day, I was exhausted trying to be all of these other really amazing teachers, so my after-school drama club kids just got… me. Just myself. That was the first group of students with whom I developed a real connection. By the time I started my second year teaching, I decided to just accept myself and to own my teaching identity. Pretending to be something you’re not is exhausting. Embrace your own flavor of teaching, and don’t be afraid to reveal your quirks to your students. Authenticity breeds connection.


Be vulnerable.
We ask our students – our angsty, self-conscious, uncomfortably awkward teenage students – to be vulnerable all the time. Try solving this problem on the board while everyone watches for you to make a mistake. Read this passage from the book aloud while your peers silently judge your pronunciation and pace. Swap essays with your elbow partner and let them criticize your work. We often forget, I think, how utterly terrifying it can be to be vulnerable like that, because we spend so much of our classroom time building up our walls and pedestals. I encourage you, teachers, to be vulnerable too. Let students read your writing. Be sincere about your feelings while still maintaining professionalism. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and acknowledge those mistakes. Vulnerability allows you to experience true connection, and students will be more likely to open up to you in return.


Be honest.
Vulnerability and honesty go hand in hand because they require one another. In Rita Pierson’s TED Talk, she told a story about having to apologize to her class for teaching an entire lesson wrong. I have apologized to my students for lessons that failed, grading errors I’ve made, or plans that have fallen through. I am also completely honest about my lack of knowledge. I do not claim to know it all, and my students know that. They are comfortable asking me questions because they know that if I don’t have the answer, I will work with them to find the answer. They can trust me because they know I will be honest with them.


Enjoy your time together.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from a classroom teacher turned teacher advocate who said, “The year you aren’t excited to buy a new outfit for the first day of school is the year you should consider changing your career.” The thought of being in your classroom and working with your students should be an exciting one! Think about how much time you spend with those students. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend more time with your students every day than you do your own families. Shouldn’t that time together be enjoyable? Do things together that bring you all joy! Find the fun in your lessons, allow laughter and conversation to have its time and place in your classroom, and take a moment to just enjoy being with these crazy young people.


Treat your students like family.
I spent roughly 1170 hours with students in my English classroom last school year. That number does not take into account my after-school responsibilities, nor does it account for time spent during lunch, prep periods, before school, or after school tutoring students or talking them through life’s problems. These students become my second family, so I treat them like they are my family. My advisory class celebrates birthdays with donuts or cupcakes. My theatre students share meals together before shows and during long practices. We celebrate successes, victories, and good news. We lament bad days and raw deals and life’s ugly moments. We laugh, we complain, we cry, we vent, we lift each other up. It is so worth the time and the emotional toll it takes to invest love in your students. Linda Cliatt-Wayman, another education hero of mine, said, “If someone asks me my real secret, it’s that I love my students, and I believe in their possibilities unconditionally. I see only what they can become.”
We are charged with the lives of kids. Our work is important, and our impact is powerful. It can be life-changing. Building strong, positive relationships with our students affects their success both in and out of the classroom. Make the most of your classroom experience by opening up the heart that brought you to this worthy line of work.

What do you do in your own classroom to foster positive classroom relationships?

Happy Planning!


  1. Fabulous post! I thrive off my relationships with my students. This is a great list of suggestions.

  2. This is a very good free game web site. I also often play in free time . Please visit our website and play exciting game
    - earn to die
    - age of war
    - plants vs zombies

  3. I enjoyed over read your blog post. Your blog have nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog. I am always searching like this type blog post. I hope I will see again..

    starfall | abcya |abcya 7 | brainpop

  4. There is no traditional course as such to attain a GED. It takes around 7 hours on a whole to complete all of the five tests for GED, which a student can give in a single shot. However, one might have to take help of preparation courses in order or fare well in the exams.

  5. Teachers should make strong bonding to their students so that students can feel relax. Doctor Rita is showing their experience and it is a very wonderful topic she opted for this blog but website is the best option for all students. This is really wonderful information and useful for the teachers.

  6. Amazingly composed blog that has transfixed its crowd.

  7. Dynamic, customized learning choices. Online secondary school classes paper help include creative instructional apparatuses.!

  8. Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign.
    Quaility Scaffolding London


    If Truly you Are In Need Of A PROFESSIONAL LEGIT HACKER Who Will Get Your Job Done Efficiently With Swift Response, Congratulations, You Have Met the Right HACKERS.

    • We are a Team Of Professional HACKERS , a product of the coming together of Legit Hackers from the Dark-Web, (pentaguard,CyberBerkut, RedHack , Black Hat, White Hack ) we have been existing for over 12years, our system is a veryStrong and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas and directives.

    • Frankly speaking, I always give a 100% guarantee on any job we are been asked to do, because we have always been successful in Almost all our jobs for over 12years and our clients can testify to that .To hack any thing needs time though, but we can provide a swift response to your job depending on how fast and urgent you need it.Time also depends on what exactly you want to hack and how serious you are.Enough time with social engineering is required for hacking.So if you want to bind us in a short time, then just don't contact us because We can't hack within 30minutes,*sorry*.Basically, time depends on your luck.If its good luck, then it is possible to hack within 30minutes but, if it is in the other way round, it would take few hours.I have seen FAKE HACKERS claiming they can hack in 30min, 20min , but there is no REAL HACKER who can say this (AVOID THEM).
    Please Note : we have only one contact email : compositehacks @ gmail . com

    We will be happy to have you join over 2000 satisfied clients around the world to use our services.

    There are so many Reasons why people need to hire a hacker, It might be to Hack a Websites to deface , retrieve information, edit information or give you admin access Some people might need us for Hacking any smart phone giving you access to all activities onthe phone like , text messages , call logs , Social media Apps and other informations.Some might need to Hack a Facebook , gmail, yahoomail, Instagram , twitter and every other social network Accounts, Some might need to Hack into Court's Database to Clear criminal records.However we can also Hack into school's websites (server) to change grades without any trace, Also Some Individuals might want to Track someone else's Location probably for investigation cases.
    All these Are what we can get Done withing few hours.

    ★ Hacking and sales of Programmed credit cards & CREDIT CARD TOP-UP
    ★ Sales of untraceable phones (even the pentagon can not track our phones)
    ★ Sales of Tutorial packs for Beginner Ethical Hackers.

    ★ You can also contact us for other Cyber Attacks And Hijackings, we do almost All.

    ★Contact Us for Your Desired Service Via: compositehacks @ gmail . com

    ★We Treat Every Request With Utmost Confidentiality★

  10. This is a great educative post. I was searching for this type of post for many days. I have read this post twice. And I recognized the funny GIF. Thank you so much for this post. Visit our site and get information and helpful tips.

  11. Students have the small mind and they don't know about anything. You can make your work more reliably with and enjoy your life in the classroom with your friends. The main trick is the we have to give them a place fun so that they can get their work done.


  13. I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. scaffolding

  14. Excellent post, Instructors should make solid attaching to their understudies with the goal that understudies can feel unwind. Specialist Rita is demonstrating their experience and it is an extremely brilliant point she decided on this blog, however, is the best choice for all understudies.

  15. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. fake documents

  16. installation, the first step is purchase. You need to buy this product on the
    internet only so that you can then install it in your system. During the purchase, the most important thing is the key as it provides with the identity of being a genuine buyer. If you buy it online, the key is provided to you through email, while for the ones buying it offline, the key is there in the packaging. You need to keep this key safely with yourself as it is going to be very important for your microsoft~office~com~setup.

  17. For strong relationship there is most important is trust. If you don't trust to your partner your relationship is not work. Dateclub is the online dating site you can find our love on this site.

  18. Nice post, This empowers you while applying for schools. to empower the charming score you have to take committed and explore the details for help me a considerable measure to discover valuable data.

  19. This is a great educative post. I was searching for this type of post for many days.

  20. تعد شركة تركيب اثاث ايكيا بالرياض هي الشركة الرائده والاولي في كافة الاثاث من تركيب وفك ونقل وتخزين وكافة الاعمال المتعلقة بالاثاث في الرياض وكافة المناطق والمحافظات بالمملكة العربية السعودية، وقد تصدرت شركة خبراء المملكة لتكون الأولى في مجال فك ونقل وتركيب الأثاث المنزلي وايضا فك وتركيب الستائر بالرياض وهي تتميز عن باقي شركات الرياض نظرا لما تقدمة من خدمات بشكل احترافي كما انها تتميز عن غيرها بكفاءة الفنيين والامتخصصين في مجال تركيب الاثاث فلا داعي لكثرة البحث فلديك خبراء المملكة فهم فعلا خبراء ومتميزون في جميع خدماتهم المقدمة
    شركة تركيب اثاث ايكيا بالرياض
    فني تركيب اثاث ايكيا بالرياض
    شركة تركيب ستائر بالرياض
    عامل تركيب ستائر بالرياض
    شركة تركيب غرف نوم بالرياض
    فني تركيب غرف نوم بالرياض
    شركة تركيب باركية بالرياض
    شركة تركيب عفش بالرياض
    ما يميز شركة تركيب نقل وتركيب اثاث بالرياض
    - تعد شركة تركيب اثاث ايكيا من الشركات المفضلة لكثير من العملاء فهم من منحوها الصدارة والتميز لتميز الخدمات المقدمة لهم وهي الاولي في تركيب الاثاث لزيادة خبراتها الكبيرة لسنوات.
    تتميز ايضا شركة خبراء المملكة بكبر فرق العمل المتخصصة والمدربة بمهاره وتقنية عالية كما اننا ندعم صفوفنا بصفة مستمرة من العمال والموظفين والفنيين الأكفاء والمهرة كما انها Jستقبل العمالة الفليبنية

  21. La voyance téléphone gratuite peut vous aider à voir plus clair dans votre vie, que cela concerne votre relation amoureuse et sentimentale, votre avenir professionnel, votre famille ou vos projets d'envergure.

    if you want more just look here "voyance immediate"

  22. In order to write abstract paper , you need to know how you can manage those information for the abstract paper and how you can follow the rules of this paper. that is very helpful for the academic papers writing.

  23. Good, This article is about back Serve Company. In this bleeding edge period, science displays various things new which we didn't know beforehand. Back is the online system and follow the link there are various favorable circumstances that you show. Thus our life is so regular and surprising.

  24. Good article. Writing a good proposal is a meaningful way to enhance the knowledge and information. Students mostly remain worry about their research papers but it is not difficult at all.

  25. Understudies, as they are progressively postured with issues identifying with themselves on the planet and with the world, will feel progressively tested and obliged to react to that test.World's local classifieds

  26. At our local Super Walmart, there is a gentleman there by the name of George. George stands at the front door and enthusiastically greets everyone who walks into Walmart.New York Asian escorts

  27. Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. click here