The 5 "V's" For Building Positive Relationships With Your Students

The 5 "V's" For Building Positive Relationships With Your Students

The Super Bowl is here!  It's time to brush off that old playbook, and bust out a refreshed game plan!  

Building positive relationships and trust with your students during the school year will help ensure successful instruction, discipline, communication, and mediation with that student during both the good and bad moments of their educational journey throughout the year.

We have laid out a solid game plan for you with our list of 5 "V's" you can use to build positive relationships with your students.

  • Give students time to vent.  We all come to school with extra baggage, emotions, and frustrations.  Sit down with the student, get rid of any distractions (grading papers, or being on your phone) and truly listen to the student.  Allow them to open up to you, even if this means teaching them how to control their frustrations and discuss them in a calm manner.  We all want to be heard, sometimes we just need an educator to listen.  

  • Students don't just want validation, they need it.  Providing students validation teaches them empathy... something that is extremely difficult to teach students.  Providing validation at times will model empathy, build trust, and show that you care.  One of the best articles I've read recently was from Jennifer Gonzalez (@cultofpedagogy) via her blog, Cult Of Pedagogy.  She discussed, providing excellent examples, the "Magic of Validation".  Jennifer states in her post,
  • "Validation is the act of recognizing and affirming the feelings or perspective of another person. It’s acknowledging that these thoughts and feelings are true for that person. It’s a very simple, astoundingly fast way to make progress in a conversation: It eases tension, builds trust, and gets you and the other person to a solution more quickly."

  • True, in my opinion, not every child should get a ribbon.  But students still need minor victories to feel successful in school.  Whether that's celebrating their work, allowing moments to teach the class something, or tell about a recent story/success, give them a victory and let them feel accomplished.  In my class, we had a "cheer box" with cheers on laminated card stock.  Even my most difficult students couldn't pass up the opportunity of receiving a class cheer for answering a question right or following a procedure they finally conducted correctly.  I wrote about these class cheers in a blog post last February, here:

  • When building positive relationships with your students, remember that they need to feel valued.  Students need to feel as if they are a part of the school, they need to feel included, and they need to know that they are an integral part of the class.  Give them a class job, have students provide positive comments and feedback to each other (digitally or non-digitally).  Greet them at the door every morning with a smile and a greeting.  Tell them how happy you are that they are a part of your class.  Call on them during class instruction, listen to their thoughts and opinions, and make positive phone calls home acknowledging to their guardians that their child is valued in your class. 

  • Lastly, allow your students to have a voice!  Listen and let them talk when needed.  Give them voice and choice when it comes to their learning and engagement with digital and non-digital learning menus (Here's our recent Fortnite digital menu).  Allow them to talk, collaborate, and share in groups.  Students need to feel heard, be heard and have a voice in class discussions, decisions, and their education.