Kids will not work for you unless they trust you. If they trust you, they will enjoy being in your presence. The longer they are in your presence, the easier it will be to form lasting, productive relationships. And the more genuine relationships you have in your school, the more positive your school climate will be.
Building relationships with your students takes time. The process takes a lot of conscious effort. It involves a million little conversations and compliments and moments of caring and concern and celebration. It includes laughter and sometimes disappointment and a few tears as well.
I spend my entire day talking to kids – in the classroom, in the hallway, on the way to and from specials and lunch and recess and assemblies, in the cafeteria, and at the front of the school as they are leaving for home. I believe that all of those mini-conversations make a difference in making kids feel as though they are noticed, as though they are appreciated, as though they are loved.
This morning, as I took a short break from testing, I headed to the office for the restroom and then to check my mail. I heard my name called and turned around to see Ivan leaving his testing situation in the library.
“Mr. Ramsey!” the boy called. “Where are you going?”...