Building Connections

In the past week and month, connections with others is extremely important. Currently as I am writing this post we are on about like day thirty something of stay at home orders due to COVID-19. During this time, I have learned to connect with people in different ways. I can not go out and get coffee or lunch dates with friends so technology will be our way to connect. However how do we build connections with our students.

“Great teachers focus not on compliance, but on connections and relationships”

PJ Caposey

I personally believe building connections with our students should be one of our first focuses in our gymnasiums and classrooms. I believe this because once a student has a connection with a teacher and other peers in the classroom, they are ready to open up and fully learn.

Anytime I have made a really meaningful connection to a teacher I am more willing to learn and to go to class. I know they are there for me and they are willing to meet my where I am. They will also trust you and some will even let you into your personal life.

I believe that being a teacher at the end of the day is the relationships. Every time we go to work we are able to make a lasting change in these students. Teachers change the world and can change students lives. Whenever I have worked with students I always try to see them for who they are and remember they deserve my best, even if I am having a bad day. Especially in health and physical education, we are directly talking about who they are and the world around them. Building those connections early on will help have those tough conversations that come out of this class.

This is one of my favorite quotes.

Ways you can start building connections in your classroom from Day 1:

  • Ice Breaker Games – These games even though they have a bad stigma are important because students learn more about each other and you learn a lot about them.
  • Learn Student Names – It is always important to know peoples names. It makes them feel known. As much as it can be hard, show your students you are trying to learn their name and that will go a long way.
  • Get to know you Questions – These can be a mix of funny and serious questions to be able to learn a lot about their students. It can even be helpful to do this in a form so you have quick access to it all year.
  • Share about yourself – Tell your students who you are. They love to know more about you and are more than likely would open up once they know more about you.
  • Greet Students at the door – Meeting students at the door and checking in on them is a great way to build connections. You can gain a lot of information on how your students are doing that day with a quick “hi” and just talking to them.

Connection is a human need and we all crave for it. Students want to feel heard and known and as teachers, we can provide that in a special way. Comment down below what some of your favorite ways to learn more about your students!

4 thoughts on “Building Connections

  1. Hi Chloe 🙂

    thanks for sharing — these seem like excellent points to keep in mind regarding interpersonal communication + connection building.

    I have written extensively on how connections are / can be built online … and it’s different.

    Online, we connect via text strings — which generally fall into one of two categories: words vs. non-words.

    Words do not belong to anyone, they belong to the entire community (in particular: the community that actually uses those words [cf. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later work] ).

    The other stuff is/are *potentially* brands / brand names (or “gobbledygook” — which one is that? 😉 ). If these strings become trademarked, then they are essentially government-sanctioned monopolies. Of course the “owners” of such TM-strings want their trademarks to be the central hubs for them to “make money”.

    One way teachers / educators / whatever could have HUGE impact on students’ abilities and / or literacy skills would be to raise their awareness for how important the languages (which they are learning in schools, but also “learning by doing” — via their “regular” activities and interactions in daily life) are from such a technological point of view. Natural language is far more trustworthy than any protected “intellectual property”, simply because of its decentralized nature, which permeates all of society far more than something like “Facebook” or “Google” ever can.

    And language *sounds* homogenous, but it is actually as diverse as its “users” — whether that’s because of dialect, or slang, or jargon or many other similar cases of nuances building niche communities, social groups, … and / or connections!

    🙂 Norbert

    Like

    1. Hey Norbert! You have brought up great points! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts related to this topic! I am planning on writing on building connections with students online soon! I really like your thoughts on how natural language is more trustworthy then what you can see online. I think it would be fun to dive into that thought with students to see how they could make online communication more trustworthy. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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