Sunday, September 12, 2010

The 3 Keys (Part 1): Building Positive Relationships

When formulating my “Jigsaw Approach to Classroom Management” back in 2008, I made the following observations:
A safe learning environment relies on positive teacher-student relationships and positive peer relationships.
Teachers can develop such relationships by taking a meaningful interest in their students' lives, and promoting an anti-bullying ethos through their words and actions.
Make an effort to forge positive, respectful relationships with your more challenging students.
Study the purpose and triggers of their behaviours, and learn about their backgrounds. Use behaviour management strategies which target the cause of their misbehaviour, and remember they too have the right to a safe learning environment.
In my teaching experience, I have found these two factors to be absolutely critical in successfully working with challenging students. I am not alone in thinking along these lines ...
... one of the most common objections which comes up when we talk about this subject… “I’m a busy teacher, I don’t have time to build relationships with challenging students?”
The answer to that is “You don’t have time NOT to build relationships with challenging students.” 
Think about the amount of time spent mopping up incidents, and dealing with students who don’t follow instructions – THAT is a huge waste of time. 
Many teachers complain that they are unable to do their jobs purely because of the time spent dealing with behaviour problems. Students are more likely to behave for a teacher they respect, trust and get on with so spending time building relationships with them is going to SAVE you time in the long run.
Chris (June 15, 2010). Making Time to Build Relationships with Students. From the Behaviour Needs Blog
Coming Up: Relationship Building Strategies
1) Small Talk: BIG Rewards
2) Get Involved with Breakfast / Lunchtime Clubs / Activities
3) The Importance of Active Listening

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