What I Love About Teaching: Building Student Relationships

Hello! Jessica here from Mrs. Plemons Kindergarten. I'm so excited to share with you all what I LOVE about teaching! And that has to be the relationships that I have formed with my students and their families.  Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the learning objectives, standards, lesson plans, assessments, interventions, and data that we forget the amazing opportunity we are given as teachers to get to know these little people and their families!

 After my recent visit back to my school (now that I stay home with Miss Madelynn) I was reminded just how lasting these relationships are.  Seeing my little kinders studying hard in 5th grade, drop what they are doing and give me smiles, hugs and tell me all about their lives was the best feeling(can't believe I'm getting old, LOL). So today I want to share some of the ways I connect with students and their families.

Welcome Back Night
 I love that our school gives us the opportunity to meet our families before the first day of school. Especially in kindergarten where parents have so many questions, and the kids have so many nerves.  It's that first impression and it gets me so excited for what the year ahead may bring. 

Field Trips
 I love the informal atmosphere of a field trip.  I feel like parents are always more comfortable talking to me when we are out of the classroom environment.  This is where I get to know families on a more personal level. Not to mention I love watching them interact and have fun with the kids and their friends! Many a bus trip is spent getting snuggles with sleepy kinders and talking about hopes and dreams with amazing parents.

Saturday School
 Once a month our school holds a Saturday School for students and parents.  Students engage in learning activities, while their parents attend an informational seminar on topics such as homework strategies, using technology for learning, getting involved in the PTA and more.  Afterwards, parents and students are reunited for a free field trip to a place in the community. Such a great way to invite parents into our school for  a free day full of learning and fun.

Muffins for Moms/Donuts for Dads
 This one is a kindergarten tradition that is probably the most popular with parents.  I know many shy away from celebrations such as these because of students different family situations but we try to be as inclusive as possible and invite any and all adults that are important in a child's life to these events.  I've even invited older siblings, or students' book buddies from older grades to make sure that everyone can enjoy the celebration. Its so much fun to help students prepare their songs and gifts, and I get to know what they love about their family members in the process.

Special Treats
 What kid doesn't love a cute little treat from their teacher (or really anyone)? I have fun searching pinterest and TPT for treat ideas for special days.  Putting a smile on their face, puts a smile on my face too :)

And last I love to take advantage of everyday moments to play, talk and get to know these special little friends of mine.  Whether it's the first snow of the year that leads to an extra long recess, attending a soccer game, or just listening to their special weekend stories during share time.  I wouldn't trade these relationships for the world!

I'd love to hear how you connect with your special group of kids, I'm always looking for new ideas!



5 comments:

  1. Love this post! You're right we often forget about how important it is to really get to know our students and their families. For me it comes easy (we live in a small, rural area) and many times those connections are already formed for me. Sometimes that can be a bad thing though...like when a parent already has your cell number, is already a FB friend, goes to your church, or lives down the street from you. (Yep, that's my life! lol!) Those small connections are still important though. In my situation I just have to learn how to balance it all and stay professional in the meantime! Great post! I have no doubt your students and parents loved you! ;)

    -Kim
    For a Love of Teaching

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    1. That is definitely a blessing and a curse living in the same community as your students. I enjoy being able to go to Target in my sweats and not worry about running into students :)

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  2. I am sure your students and classroom parents just loved you! I really want to try that rainbow snack! The kids look like they are loooving it!
    Melissa from Mrs. Dailey's Classroom

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    1. I was surprised how easy they were to make, and soooo yummy! Just don't drop a whole container on the way into school like I did... Some rainbows were a little messier than others, but the kiddos didn't mind one bit!

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  3. If you ask from me What I Love About Teaching? so my answer is I love the communication about Teaching
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