How are great student teacher relationships built?
How does a student teacher build those relationship before taking over full-time teaching for a month or more?
Student teacher relationships are very important because (as you'll see from the rest of this website), you must have a relationship with the children in order to get them to do anything.
It will dramatically increase your ability to exercise classroom management, and classroom management is the key to being able to teach effectively rather than constantly discipline.
And effective teaching is the key to getting great student teacher evaluations.
TIP: We build teacher-student relationships the same way we build relationships with adults: we talk to them and we listen.
Of course, we talk and listen with intention so that we move the process along as quickly as possible.
Start with a picture-book read-aloud. Choose the book wisely (with input from your college instructors or master teacher) ensuring it is grade-level appropriate, engaging and makes kids think and question. For the best teacher student relationships, don't read one that is too long!
A small community of readers
Then gather the kids on the floor (with you seated in a chair). Pulling the kids closer increases your control and keeps them from pursuing their own activities at the far corner of the room.
Read, share pictures and ask simple questions to encourage their side of the conversation:
Always follow up with:
Encourage higher-level thinking and compliment it (more below on this).
After this, if you are pursuing great student teacher relationships, you'll find time to read with the kids one-on-one. In lower grades you read to them, in upper grades they read to you.
And ask the questions:
Remember, children are little people, and people love to tell their story... to be heard...especially by a figure of authority. You don't need their life story, they just need to know that you are invested in them.
Complimenting is a fine art and a key skill for any teacher who wants to build strong student teacher relationship with a class - the kind of relationships where the kids want to display the correct behavior just because you ask them, not because they have to.
Those little people, the ones who want to be heard, also want to be appreciated. So correct complimenting is important, because they need to be appreciated for the right things - this is school, after all, and your approach should lead to increased learning.
The wise student teacher avoids empty, generalized, feel-good compliments such as:
These make the recipient feel good, but not for the right reasons. Keep compliments specific and focus them on children's thinking:
They called! Now what?!
"Teacher Interviews 101"
The resume gets their attention, but the interview gets the job.
Read and listen as I walk you through it step-by-step.
In addition to building those all-important student teacher relationships during your time student teaching (and getting great student teacher evaluations), you want to constantly encourage detailed thinking so that they become happy with just thinking. And if they know that you appreciate detailed thinking, they will strive to provide it in the future.
See much more on this topic in the classroom management section.
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