7 Tips For Getting Off On The Right Foot With Students!
Starting out the school year well matters! Setting the tone and preparing your space goes a long way toward good teacher student relationships. Here are 7 tips to help you get off on the right foot with your students:
1. Greet your students with a smile.
Nothing beats positive energy flowing from your face to say to the students welcome. I remember some of my early teacher training that suggested you greet your kids in the hall while they enter the classroom. This is something I do especially when I am supply teaching. Most people don't like or react well too surprises. I like my students to see me on that long walk down the hall, to give them a chance to adjust to the idea that their other teacher won't be there that day.
2. Outline your expectations.
In cooking class this means going over safety rules. Things that seem 'duh of course' like no running in the classroom, no rough housing, no throwing objects but I really like to break it down. At the end of the class that I go over the rules students have to sign the sheet and hand it in before kitchen privileges are given. I also like to give students a more detailed outline of what units we will be doing and projects. I like to remind myself I am not the only thing happening in these students lives. They have other classes, maybe a job, after school sports or clubs. I want to help them plan their schedules any way can.
3. Give your students an outlet for expression.
This means allowing them to express who they are and what they think. In FCS and technical courses I find this especially easy and rewarding. Students are working with their hand creating. I like to put my plating and saucing unit fairly early in my course so that students can practice the techniques in each of the following dish that they make.
4. Connect with students individually.
This falls into the category of get to know your students. I understand some teachers have 200 students at a time and really getting to know them might take years but as much as you can find out:
part time jobs
after school sports
All good non creepy ways to say 'I see you, you are a part of this place'
5. Establish accountability.
This goes with point #2. Outline what happens if students aren't meeting the expectations they have agreed to. Follow through with what you said the consequences would be. Were they rough housing with students in the kitchen? Then they are done with their lab, clean up and go sit down, loose your marks and better luck next time. This road goes both ways though. Ask for feedback, sincerely, maybe anonymously ask them to tell you what they think of the course or even you as a teacher.
6. Be Calm
Oh man this one is hard!!! Your students deserve someone who is in control of their emotions and so do you. Calm people get things done, safely. Calmness begets calmness and students who have a teacher barking at them creating an intense rush rush atmosphere is no good for an environment where you want people thinking threw their actions and next steps.
7. Communicate Clearly
Stay away from the sarcasm. Clearly say what you mean. Help students learn your words can be trusted whether they are encouraging or correcting.
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