Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today's Golden Nugget from Teach Like a Pirate - Build Rapport With Your Students

Well, after battling the crowds at my favorite place to shop...WAL MART (not), I wanted nothing more than to come home, kick my feet up, and dive into a book (yes, I'm an avid reader). Our district was lucky enough to have Dave Burgess speak at this year's convocation, so I was dying to continue his powerful book, Teach Like a Pirate.

Today's "golden nugget" - create a solid and positive rapport with your students. Wow! I couldn't agree more. This is an absolute must, in my opinion. Every year I let my students know that they are mine (that I adopt them for the next nine months). I'm their "mama away from home" and, yes, I WILL cry when they have to leave at the end of the year.

I love how Dave instantly creates a positive rapport with his students by "hooking" them before they even walk into his classroom with a sign titled "Welcome to the World Famous Learning Extravaganza."  Wouldn't you want to enter this room? Yes, I'm curious too! He suggests getting to know your students' "likes" and "dislikes" outside of school, find out what intrigues them, and by all means, learn their names quickly. Begin this on DAY 1 of school.

Yes, this takes extra time from you. For example, on days that I eat lunch with my students, it DOES keep me from eating in the teacher's lounge on those particular days. This is the only time, however, that I can REALLY learn more about them personally. I have had parents text/e-mail me BIG thank you's (their child couldn't wait to have lunch with Mrs. Boo). When I take my evening time to make a "phone-a-great" call, it takes my personal time. However, does this tell my students that they matter? YES! Does this tell the parent that we are on the same page? YES!

As Dave says, we are in the PR business as teachers. We have to sell our classroom. Build excitement about the year to come. Get them curious about what's happening next. We don't want students wondering why they are wasting time with us.

My first day of school is this coming Monday, August 25. I'll certainly be welcoming my students to the "World Famous Learning Extravaganza" and begin building a positive rapport with my students. They will KNOW that they are special, important, and loved.

As you begin (or may have already begun the new school year), remember that it may be your smile or your little comment, "Hey, I love the color of your shirt" that they remember and appreciate. It can change their day and your rapport with them BIG TIME! What ever it takes, build a solid and encouraging rapport with your students. Our job matters; we are changing lives.

**All ideas are from Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess (a must-read).

Go Get This Book!

Until the next "golden nugget,"

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