How I Build Relationships with My Students in Just One Hour

January 20, 2019 No Comments

How I Build Relationships with My Students in Just One Hour

January 20, 2019 No Comments
My absolute favorite part about being a teacher is the relationships that I get to build with my students.  Strong relationships are something that I pride myself on as a teacher and I am constantly working on building those relationships.  At my previous school, it was super easy to build those relationships.  I lived and worked in the same neighborhood, so volunteering after school was an activity that I did often and I was able to spend tons of quality time with my students (and coworkers) outside of the school day.  In addition, I saw my students out of the school building all the time.  I would run into them at the grocery store, parks, and restaurants and I absolutely LOVED hearing my name being yelled when I was out somewhere.

Since I moved schools and I live almost a half hour from my current school, building relationships with my students and their families have been more difficult.  In fact, it has made teaching almost unbearable, though I’ve made a strong effort to change that this year.  The first step that I took was moving from teaching third grade to fifth grade.  I knew that I would have many of the same students for a second round, so I was ecstatic to make the jump and continue building those relationships that we started in third grade.  That move was only the tip of the iceberg, however.

At the beginning of the school year, I told my students about how my husband and I enjoy playing table-top role-playing games (RPGs) like Dungeons and Dragons.  While some of them laughed at my nerdy-ness, more of them were intrigued about what roleplaying games were and how you play them.  I’m not going to lie, I indulged them every question because I absolutely LOVE talking about it!  Soon after, they started begging me to teach them how to play during our short 20-minute recess block.

If you know anything about table-top RPGs, you know it is impossible to play during a 20 minute period, so I recruited my husband we started an after-school RPG club for 4th and 5th-grade students at my school.  We spend an hour a week playing a watered down version of the Pathfinder game.  We use a simplified character sheet that I found online and spent a couple of sessions introducing races and classes, as well as building characters before we split the 24 kids into two groups to start campaigning.

One hour a week has made all the difference.  For the last 4 months, I have been spending time with my students – inside and outside of the school day – discussing and playing a game that we both love.  I get to use my creative juices as the game master (which I’d never done before!) and my students get to build their critical thinking, imagination, and teamwork skills.  It has changed the way that I interact with my students the classroom, it has changed my enthusiasm for going to work, and it’s given my husband a chance to feel connected to my work as a teacher and spend time with the students I can’t stop talking about.  It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Maybe table-top RPGs are not your jam and, maybe, you struggle to find the time to volunteer after school, but I challenge you with this:  Find something that you and your students can connect through.  Maybe it’s an afterschool art club or board game club.  Maybe you want to have a short before school coffee chat (with hot chocolate for the kiddos, of course!) or a writing club. Find something that creates a true, genuine connection and builds lasting relationships with your students, so that when they look back on their time with you, they remember how much they enjoyed being with you.

sherylwoods

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About Me

About Me

Hi! My name is Sheryl and I am so thankful you've found your way to the TeacherLadyKY blog! I'm an elementary educator from Louisville, Kentucky who is passionate about building relationships and literacy skills with my students. I've taught everything from kindergarten to fifth grade and I can't wait to share my experiences with you! Enjoy! Read More

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  • Aunt Sheryl’s sweet girl made her arrival the day after my birthday - and now I have a forever birthday buddy. It was, by far, the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten. I am so proud of my sister, @ktberry9515, for bringing another sweet, perfect human into this world. The world awaits you, Lorelai.
  • When it’s a good hair/makeup/lighting day, you selfie. I’m also wearing my favorite, softest sweatshirt and enjoying the calm that is Spring Break!
  • I saw this cutie today while out walking and Pokemon-ing with @garejiratto. I love the idea of a little library and I’d love to see one out in our end of town. This one was ADORABLE, but the books in it left something to be desired. Although, there was a pretty nice copy of The Hunger Games.
  • I love my bullet journal for so many reasons, but doodling and hand lettering is a big part of it. I can make my journal 100% my own.
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#bulletjournal #bujo #handlettering #bujoideas
  • I know I am a little biased,  but I honesty think this is one of the CUTEST #bujospreads I have ever done! It is light, airy, and colorful, and makes me feel free. I absolutely love it. What’s your #aprilspread look like?
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#bulletjournal #bujo #bulletjournalideas #bujoweeklyspread #bujoideas #bujoinspiration #bujomonthly #bujoaddicts #teacherswhobulletjournal
  • I apologize for the poor video quality, but five of my kiddos were in the school’s production of The Lion King Kids and I was so proud of them. They played Simba, Scar, and three of the hyenas. It was so amazing to see them come out of their shells and shine on stage.
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Did I cry? Of course I cried. I cried the whole time.
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#dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #crow #dogwalk #retriever #retrievers #retrieversofinstagram
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#teachersofinstagram #motivationalquotes #mondaymotivation #monday #mondayquotes #mondaymood #fitgirldiary
  • Not going to lie, I had a self-hatred moment this morning. I haven’t been to the gym in ages and I keep putting it off because, what’s another day, right?  So, so wrong.

I hated how I looked in the mirror this morning. I hated how there were rolls where there shouldn’t be and dimples in places there should be no dimples. I literally wanted to throw up. Is that normal? Probably not. It’s not healthy, for sure, but it’s something most women go through.

Why?

But then, friends, I put on my face and opened the windows and felt that wet hair-fresh mind-sunshine kind of feeling and I felt better. Not 100%, but better.

I’m going to the gym today. Or at least walking the dog around the neighborhood. I’ll keep you posted.

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The TeacherLadyKY blog header and logo were designed by Sheryl, using fonts from A Primary Kind of Life and Brittney Murphy Design.  Clip art is courtesy of Irina Bandyk, whose Etsy shop is WatercolorCliparts.  The blog theme used is Emilia by Georgia Lou Studios.

 

 

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