teacher-student relationships

Filled with Great Thanksgiving

There was not enough counter space for all the food brought in for the staff Thanksgiving luncheon. So, the many delicacies were transported to the library and displayed atop the smaller bookcases and a few central tables. Turkeys and hams covered one bookcase. On another, a fine display of casseroles and salads were arranged. A […]

This Is a School That Trust Built

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Schools are microcosms of our society. They reflect what we are, like it or not.  Schools are also places where children and adults have the ability to connect and support each other on their life’s journey.  Within these schools, we’ve talked about the importance of building capacity and emphasizing academics as ways to improve the […]

Recharged

There are those days when I leave my classroom thoroughly exhausted. The fatigue is real…and is so much more strongly felt as I age in this profession! All day long, I am “on” – asking questions, answering questions, making decisions, redirecting student behavior, grading, planning – spinning a million plates all at once. As I […]

Empty Classroom

The final day of another school year has quickly come and gone, and summer vacation is but a few hours old. The desks have been cleaned and stacked. The books have been packed away in cupboards. Student work has been taken down and handed back to kids to either take home or add to the […]

Little Conversations

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 […]

Dinner for Nine: A Meal for Many

My seventh graders were in the process of researching information about Jackie Robinson in order to create an expository essay. Together, we were reading the book, 42 is Not Just a Number, by Doreen Rappaport. In the first chapter, the author writes of how Robinson’s family did not have much money when he was a […]

Cell Phone

2:55 p.m. Kids moving out of the room at one door, homeroom kids entering at the other door. Everyone talking at the same time. Everyone moving at the same time. “Can I go to the restroom?” “Can I go see the counselor?” “Can I go to the library?” And the phone rings. Sigh… I answer. […]

Louie of Winter Light

After more than three decades of working with kids from kindergarten to high school age, I have witnessed many a behavioral outburst. Occasionally, these incidents have been explosive, with a student striking out vocally and/or physically at his teacher or one of his peers in some attempt to openly rebel and assert his individual power. […]

Relationships: Hearing Them Grow

Building relationships with kids takes time and commitment on both sides of the equation. A solid connection can be encouraged or fortified by a grand event – an open house evening, a “Donuts for Dad” or “Muffins for Mom” celebration, or a campus carnival – but such an event alone cannot create long and meaningful […]

Coauthors

At school, we have a new program that allows teachers to monitor students as they work online. One cool feature allows us to simply shut down a student if he is not on the assigned site for the day. It is fun watching their reactions to being instantly blocked. Another great feature allows me to […]