teacher-student relationships

Relationship Building Is Not a Consequence

The most recognizable feature of a happy, well-running classroom is the presence of positive teacher-student relationships. When those relationships exist, student behavior and student learning are both greatly enhanced. The concept of building relationships is nothing new. Most teachers realize that students who feel appreciated, validated…loved…will do almost anything they are asked to do. For […]

Cookie Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences were conducted last week. These meetings always give me a little better insight into the lives of my kids. In addition, conferences often help me to realize a thing or two about myself as well. Teaching is not just about standing in front of a classroom and dispensing information. More importantly, it is […]


When I was in the seventh-grade in the early seventies, my writing teacher was a young, “hip” guy who stood out from the older teachers in our grade level. In retrospect, he had some serious flaws in his educational delivery. That could explain why he only lasted one year. One of this teacher’s rules was […]

Turn the Page

Say: “Turn to page 23. Look at the picture. Read the words. What do you think?” (Wait for responses. Wait 20 seconds. Students should say that they see a truck driving over a cliff). Say: “Good thinking. The truck is speeding toward a cliff, and the driver cannot stop it.” Say: “Turn the page.” Canned, […]

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


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 […]


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 […]