Build Relationships with Your Students on the First Day

By: Linda Moyer

One topic that ignites my passion is literacy. During my residency with ACTE I have developed several connections but one of the most enjoyable has been with USA TODAY Education. I have been writing for their CTE Teachers Lounge and Tip Jar. These sites have great ideas for your classroom and the latest buzz on topics in education.

With the new school year quickly approaching, you will definitely want to get to know your students and begin building relationships with them. The student-teacher relationship is the key to student learning and cooperation. Although building relationships is critical to students’ engagement and learning, oftentimes the first few days of class are busy, challenging and often overwhelming. Yet of all of the tasks that need to be accomplished, the most important is engaging students in meaningful instruction. I would encourage you to check the Tip Jar for engaging activities for those first few days. The T-shirt activity is great! Students can work independently as you try to organize and manage other business. Then, prior to the end of class, ask students to share their T-shirts with the class. This will allow the students to become familiar with each other, and you will also be delighted with what you learn about the students. Take the opportunity to post them around your room for others to view.

Another activity that is fun and enlightening is the Weather activity. Everyone has an opinion about the weather. Get to know your students and the kind of day they are having by giving each on an opportunity to share their feeling using the lingo of a weather forecast. “I am have a brightly sunny day because I am so happy to be back in school to see all of my friends.” Students are very interested in the feelings of their classmates, and this activity will break the ice for those that are a bit shy.

Let’s foster excitement for the onset of school. What do you do with your students during the first week of school to effectively manage and engage students in meaningful instruction?