We have all had THAT student. If I am lucky I only have one of them a year. You know the student that I am talking about. The student who you secretly wish was absent, but never seems to be. The student who can turn a well functioning class into chaos. What do you do when you face THAT student?
I try to get to know them. I ask them questions. I try to give them the attention that they seek for positive actions instead of always trying to punish the unwanted behavior. Sometimes this works and THAT student changes their behavior. More often, the more that I get to know the student, the better I understand the reasons behind their actions. I recently read a blog post about just that.
As a high school teacher I typically am responsible for 200 students spread throughout the 6 classes that I teach. It is difficult to really get to know ALL my students over the course of the year. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach a Peer Connectors class in addition to core science courses. In this class I am able to truly get to know 30 students. I wish I could have this type of relationship with all of my students.
Relationships are critical. Just like THAT student, it is important for teachers to feel like they have a relationship with other like minded teachers. Through blogging and the use of Twitter, I am beginning to understand how I can foster those relationships with educators outside of my physical sphere of influence. Whether it is dealing face to face with students or interacting with other educators, it is all about relationships. My goals for this coming school year, both digitally and in my classroom, is to take time to ask questions, get to know others, and build relationships.
Thank you Juan for letting me contribute to your blog! I appreciate the opportunity to strengthen relationships with other connected educators.