Archive for the ‘Building Trust’ category

Building Positive Relationships with Support Personnel

August 19, 2016

Schools would not run smoothly without the secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, security team, or 728d6ee6ea0b81a533d0f45ed29dae10food service staff. Often their support is so seamless, we almost forget that they exist and we often take for granted, all the glitches they unglitch. So, as you are thinking about building a classroom community, take a moment out to think about how you might build positive relationships with your building’s support personnel. Here’s a few suggestions from our books, Thriving in the High School Classroom and From Surviving to Thriving: Mastering the Elementary Classroom.

  • Acknowledge support personnel with a smile, a nod, or short conversation.
  • Turn in paperwork on time. If it’s going to be late, let the secretary know.
  • Communicate with the custodian when a class event is going to result in extra trash or your classroom furniture arrangement may impede cleaning.
  • Don’t forget to let the food service staff know when your students may not be dining in the cafeteria.
  • Take time out to introduce yourself to the security team and find out what you can do to make their job easier.
  • If you have bus duty, connect with the bus drivers.

And, as we all know, it is the school secretary who really runs the school!

Check out our new products at Surviving to Thriving LjL:

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Three Principles to Ponder Connected to Teaching and Learning

August 10, 2014

Paul Brock wants all of his daughters’ future teachers to abide by three principles:

First, to nurture and challenge my daughters’ intellectual and imaginative capacities way out to horizon unsullied by self-fulfilling minimalist expectations. Don’t patronize them with lowest-common-denominator blancmange masquerading as knowledge and learning; not crush their love for learning through boring pedagogy. Don’t bludgeon them with mindless ‘busy work’ and limit the exploration of the world of evolving knowledge merely to the tyranny of repetitively churned-out recycled worksheets. Ensure that there is legitimate progression of learning from one day, week, month, term and year to the next.

Second, to care for Sophie and Millie with humanity and sensitivity, as developing human beings worth of being taught with genuine respect, enlightened discipline and imaginative flair.

And, third, please strive to maximize their potential for later schooling, post0school education, training and employment and for the quality of life itself so that they can contribute to and enjoy the fruits of living within an Australian society that is fair, just, tolerant, honorable, knowledgeable, prosperous and happy (Brock, 2004, pp. 250-251).

Visible Learning HattieSchool for many will be starting within the next few weeks. While teachers are busy preparing for the upcoming school year, it might be a good time to reflect upon Paul Brock’s three principles. This quote was included in the preface of a book by John Hattie, Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. I have only read the preface and first chapter and I am intrigued.   Then I read the following quote and now I can’ wait to read the whole book.

“This development of critical evaluation skills requires educators to develop their students’ capacity to see the world from the viewpoint of others to understand human weaknesses and injustices, and to work towards developing cooperation and working with others. It requires educators to develop in their students a genuine concern for self and others, to teach the importance of evidence to counter stereotypes and closed thinking, to promote accountability of the person as responsible agent, and to vigorously promote critical thinking and the importance of dissenting voices” (Hattie, 2012,p. 4).

This quote provides a strong rationale for teachers to create community in their classrooms by getting to know their students and students getting to know each other as well as students getting to know their teachers. Building a community of learners who care for each other takes time, but it is time well-spent. Go slow to go fast.

There are many getting to know you activities in books, on the Internet, on Pinterest, etc. Check out our two books for more ideas about building trust in your classrooms: Thriving in the High School Classroom and From Surviving to Thriving: Mastering the Art of the Elementary Classroom.

Thriving in the HS ClassroomFrom Surviving to Thriving

 

Brock, P. (2004). A passion for life. Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. New York: Routledge.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:surviving%20to%20thriving%20ljl

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thriving-in-the-High-School-Classroom-1326075

http://www.amazon.com/Visible-Learning-Teachers-Maximizing-Impact/dp/0415690153/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406818434&sr=8-1&keywords=John+Hattie

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/From-Surviving-to-Thriving-126820

Building Trust with Students and Among Students

July 31, 2014

An optimal classroom climate for learning is one that generates an atmosphere of trust—a climate in which it is understood that it is okay to make mistakes because mistakes are the essence of learning. In so many classrooms, the greatest reason why students do not like to expose their mistakes is because of their peers: peers can be nasty, brutal, and viral! Expert teachers create classroom climates that welcome admission of errors; they achieve this by developing a climate of trust between teacher and student, and between student and student (Hattie, 2012, p. 26).

Community_circleThe first days of school for most are just around the corner—we know this because the “Back to School” ads have already been up and running. Teachers everywhere are preparing for those first days of school. The expert teachers are planning activities for students to get to know their teachers, for teachers to get to know their students, and most importantly for students to get to know each other. This is always time well spent and often sets the tone for the rest of the semester and/or school year.

Building relationships with students and among students is the key to building trust with students and among students as well as creating a classroom climate that facilitates student learning. When students know you care about them and their learning, they show up physically and mentally. I am always reminded of one of my high school students who had perfect attendance in my class, Early American Literature, and proudly told me that my class was the only one he attended on most days. While he may have had an overwhelming interest in early American Literature, he also knew that he was welcomed, supported, and part of a community of learners in my class.

Thriving in the HS Classroom

My colleagues and I have a new book out, Thriving in the High School Classroom, available from Teachers Pay Teachers. We share many strategies grounded in best practice and our professional experiences that facilitate building trust with students and among students. We also published a book with Lorenz Press, From Surviving to Thriving: Mastering the Art of the Elementary Classroom, also available on Teachers Pay Teachers. While both books are great for new teachers, more experienced teachers might be reminded of strategies they successfully used in the past and perhaps a few new ones too. Check out our other products on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Oh, and we’re having a sale on Monday, August 4, and Tuesday, August 5!!

 Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. London and New York: Routledge.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:surviving%20to%20thriving%20ljl

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thriving-in-the-High-School-Classroom-1326075

http://www.amazon.com/Visible-Learning-Teachers-Maximizing-Impact/dp/0415690153/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406818434&sr=8-1&keywords=John+Hattie

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/From-Surviving-to-Thriving-126820

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