The Importance of Relationships

Happy Valentine’s Day, Teachers! We hope that you know how much you are loved.

No matter how you treat this holiday–whether you waltz through the day as a hopeless romantic or see it as another greeting card cash grab–it’s a good time to do a maintenance check on the important relationships in your life. Including those in your career domain!

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Student Relationships

Healthy teacher-student relationships are built on a foundation of trust and respect. Underneath it all, your students should recognize you as an authority figure in the classroom. And just like any other successful relationship, there needs to be some give and take on both sides. Do you offer praise along with correction? Do you provide support when a student is struggling? Is your classroom a safe space for students to make mistakes, both academically and socially? Is it a place where all students feel welcome? 


It’s also important to recognize and applaud student individuality. This is especially hard to do in secondary education because you have so many students and see them for a relatively brief amount of time. Varying your teaching style to access different learning types is one way to see everybody. Varying your questioning style does, too; some kids absolutely hate being called on verbally, but will answer brilliantly if given the chance to do so in written form. Every student should feel comfortable most days and coaxed out of those comfort zones on other days.


If time allows, make it a goal to learn something new about each student before Spring Break: a hobby, a sport, a special talent, a favorite music style. Strike up some non-academic conversations with your students during class transitions, and you’ll be amazed at what they want to share!


Want to see your classroom through your students’ eyes? Check out these ideas on constructive student feedback. 

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Parent Relationships

For some teachers, interacting with parents can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. While there may be some parents who are challenging to work with, it's important to remember that they are usually a minority. Most parents have a shared goal with teachers - to support their child's success in the classroom. By actively listening to their perspectives and valuing their personal knowledge of their child, teachers can create a positive and productive relationship with parents. By embracing open communication, both the teacher and the parent can work together to ensure the student's success.


More helpful parent info here!


Teacher Besties

Friendships forged within school walls are almost impenetrable. When each year ends, you truly feel like you’ve been through something together (because you really have). 


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So where are you with your core group these days? Have you fallen apart after the holiday rush? Maintaining these friendships doesn’t have to be a huge time-sucker. Funny memes on teacher chat threads can be the fuel to get you through your hardest days. Bringing a colleague a favorite drink or snack can start their day on a positive note. Talking your teacher neighbor through a sticky disciplinary issue can put their mind at ease. There are so many little ways to pour into those around you at school, so be sure you are a giver when you can be.

Feeling stalled in your teacher relationships? Check out these tips to help you break down walls and step out in confidence.

Like-Minded Communities

Only those who have spent time in the classroom truly get what teachers go through on a daily basis. And while you may teach on the West Coast, you’ll be surprised to learn that teachers in the Southeast deal with many of the same things you do. Whether you teach senior English in a private school or all subjects in a public school kindergarten class, you all are dealing with human nature and ever-changing policies.

Teachers are your best resource for sharing experiences, ideas, and expertise. And as much as social media can detract from what you need to do at times, there are many teacher communities out there that you can learn from. The key is to find ones that bring something positive into your life. If you’re in a group full of negativity, drop out. Find a place that encourages positivity, celebrates vulnerability, and shares practical ideas that you can actually use. Our very own ETED group is a great place to start! Join us today; all are welcome!

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