The start of each school year brings excitement and nerves for students and teachers alike. A smooth start helps everyone in the classroom prepare for learning, and settle quickly into the rhythm of the year.
Crucial to student learning is a sense of connection to the school community, but especially to teachers. Building personal relationships by getting to know students both 1-on-1 and in an open setting can help settle early nerves, and enhance students’ desire to learn and participate.
Research suggests that positive relationships with students :
There are many intuitive ways you can connect with your new students. Starting each day or week at the beginning of a new school year with some simple but effective questions is a great way to show students that you are interested in them and their lives, goals and interests. (Hint: schedule these in your Ziplet classes so they are ready to go).
Our 10 favorite relationship-building questions for the start of the year include:
Encourage students to connect with you as well as their new classmates is to ask a question that you feel students would be comfortable sharing with the class, letting them know you will be doing so, and displaying their responses in Ziplet on the screen for discussion. Suggestions for questions to encourage peer connection include:
Ziplet teacher Andrew, from Geelong Australia, believes that the best teachers he has worked with have one thing in common: “ the ability to maximise the learning potential of their students in their class by developing positive relationships”.
Andrew is a strong believer that students develop confidence to experiment and succeed in an environment where they are not restricted by fear of failure. He says using Ziplet in those first few weeks of the school year enabled him to:
Some sample questions you might use to support a strong start to school include:
These questions and more are pre-loaded into your Ziplet account. Log in and schedule a few to kick off your new school year building positive student relationships.
Tip: You can also now react to student responses with a quick emoji, to let students know you saw and value their responses.
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SEL can be a powerful lever for creating caring, just, inclusive, healthy schools that support all young people in reaching their potential.
We’ve put together some of the best teaching blogs, covering different grade levels and subjects.