Relationships & Communication

Just like any relationship, the ones with our students, it should be based on open communication. Since, I have a short time with these students I feel as though this communication should begin as soon as possible.

This last December, I had the opportunity to meet my students before they headed into Christmas Break. At this time, I introduced myself and gave them the opportunity to ask me questions. Then, I passed out a student interest survey entitled A Few Things About Me (a free resource on Teachers Pay Teachers). Naturally, I printed them on red and green Astrobrights and offered them a candy cane once they completed them. This was a great conversation starter, my mentor teacher stated that she even learned a few things about her students.

Over break, I went through each of the surveys and began finding out about the students I will be teaching during my student teaching experience. Then, I created a Google Slide presentation, A Few Things About Mrs. Cullip which provides my personal answers to the questions, as well as a compilation of the students answers. It was neat to see how much they had in common and see what was unique about them.

This was a great activity to begin building relationships and provided me with an artifact for Charlotte Danielson's Domain 1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students. I am hoping to be able to share this presentation with the students. Giving them the opportunity to find out a little more about me and their classmates.
Out of the 21 surveyed on December 20th; 10 have a preferred nickname, 10 do not, and 1 has a nickname sometimes.

Top 5 responses: Pizza 17/21, Subway/ Sandwich 11/21, Ice Cream 6/21, Hamburgers 5/21, and Apples 4/21.
Top Responses: Play Video Games 10/21, Read 5/21, Play Outside 4/21, Play on my Phone 4/21, and Play Football 3/21.
Top Responses: Basketball 6/21, Soccer 5/21, Football 3/21, and None 2/21.
Top responses: Donate to people/kids that need money 7/21, Give it to my mom and dad/ family/ grandpa 4/21, and Buy a computer 3/21.
Top Responses: Sponge-bob 4/21, Simpsons 3/21, and The Meg 3/21
Top Responses: I do not know/ None/ Don’t Have One 5/21 [Challenge Accepted], Wonder 3/21, Dogman 2/21, and Big Nate 2/21. I have added these (and the others mentioned) to my to read list!
Top Responses: Honey Bee Blake Shelton/ Blake Shelton 3/21, Imagine Dragons/ Roots 2/21, and Do not have one 2/21.
Top Responses: Dogs/Puppies/Tea Cup Puppy 14/21, Cats/Kitten 8/21, and Dolphins 5/21.
Top responses: Eat in Class 2/21, Change School/ Improve School 2/21, No Work/ No Homework 2/21, and Video Games/ Video Game Room 2/21.
Top Responses: Spiders/ Huge Spiders 7/21, Dying/ Death 5/21, and Snakes/ King Cobras 4/21.
Favorite Answer: Jurassic Park, I know its not real. Top Responses: California 9/21, Mexico 5/21, Hawaii 5/21, and New York 5/21.

When I came in on my first day, I brought in an Introduction Letter to be sent home with the students. This is a great way to begin the conversation with the families that have entrusted their children for an education.

How do you build relationships with your students and their families? Please share in the comments below. Until next time ...

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Thank you for reading my post. Please comment with any questions, concerns, constructive criticisms, or information you would like to add to this subject. Docendo discimus, by teaching we learn.