Just as students run off at the last bell of the last day of school, before summer holidays, the majority of teachers are staring at the same clock, waiting for their own extensive summer break. Unless they have to teach summer school, teachers have the summer off as well, and go camping, hiking, traveling, have family reunions and play with their own children. Visits to the beach, the lake, the parks and just fixing up the homestead take the teacher’s mind off of the upcoming school year. Come time for the new school year, teachers have to reconnect with being in charge of teaching a course curriculum to a room full of kids who would rather be back at the cottage, playing in the lake or at the beach with their friends, and not in this room full of strangers.
At first, to reconnect with students a teacher should try to at least appear to be interested in them. Too many teachers just go through the motions, teach the basics and wait for that final school bell, just like the students. See, you’re not all that much different after all. Learn your new student’s names by making a seating chart, and memorizing the names associated with each seat. At the start of the school year, explain to the students that they will have to remain in their seats for the first four weeks of the year, and after that they sit where they want. This gives the you more than enough time to learn your student’s names by their faces, not their seating positions.
Without so much as telling them, teachers should instill a sense of leadership within the classroom, while trying to be as much like the students as possible. Before school starts, teachers should research the age group that they will be teaching. Study what types of video games are most popular with that age group, what fashions, sports, local teams, movies or cartoons are most popular with kids of the age in the classroom. A general knowledge is good enough, you don’t have to become proficient with the games themselves, just know what they are about.
Knowing the student’s names is paramount in making friends with them, and that is what you should try to do, without trying. Be a friend, someone who they can trust and talk to. Give off an air of being real, never showing that you are trying to win them over. They will eventually come to you, if you know who they are, and treat them as they expect to be treated. You can ask their former teachers what they were like, their weaknesses and strengths, and feed off of them. Read their report cards from previous years, and ask them at the start if they want to learn anything in particular that year.
Reconnecting with students is not much harder than reconnecting with your kids after a long day at work with adults. Thinking of your students as other people’s children makes it all the much easier to connect with them.