Encouraging Meaningful Relationships
Abigail, K-3 Literacy Interventionist, aLPENA
Dr. Kathryn Wentzel, researcher of teacher-student relationships at the University of Maryland, explains that when students have a positive and trusting relationship with their teachers, then they are more likely to engage. Some steps one can take to cultivate a more positive relationship with their students include: making your environment a safe and stress-free space, taking the time to listen and also share, and making small connections.
Over this past school year, I have loved making myself as approachable as possible to my students. For me, this has meant taking a few minutes to hear them out, discussing some of our favorite things, letting them tell me about their weekend, or even talking to me about problems they have at home or with their peers. They know our main priority once we get to the reading room is to read, but they also know I care about them and that I want to see them succeed. I hope that by showing them empathy, respect, and positivity daily that it has encouraged them to grow, love, and share as they continue to persevere through the many challenges ahead.