Students thrive when they form strong connections between themselves and their teacher and the material at hand. To do this successfully, educators need to know their students intimately and discover ways of reaching out – including learning their names and creating personal links between lessons, personal input from students and creating an atmosphere in which it’s safe for students to take risks. Building this connection may not always be straightforward though – especially with challenging students who may have had negative experiences in the past or lack communication skills.
Establishing relationships with your students begins by getting to know each one individually. This may mean anything from recognising their names to taking an interest in their activities and hobbies, using memory cues like photos and name tags, greeting students at the door each day, asking about their weekend plans, greeting them every morning at school doors or simply listening when they have something important to say; students will appreciate your listening ear when discussing issues ranging from big problems with sports practices or practices that go awry to private worries – they appreciate being heard when speaking their minds are shared!
To effectively connect with students, it’s essential to first gain an understanding of their background and interests. Teachers can do this using strategies outlined in Chapter 3 as they gather information about students including needs, goals and motivations – then using this knowledge to make clear connections between content, language and life experiences of their pupils.
Students bring experiences and knowledge with them that may impact their education. By helping students identify these connections, teachers can show students why listening to and participating in lessons and activities is relevant and will help them meet their life goals.
Students benefit most from three kinds of connections that connect content and language personally to them: (1) personal attachment to content/language, (2) linking back to previous classroom learning, and (3) life outside the classroom. The first type addresses students’ “So What?” questions by showing why learning matters in their lives; the second form, linking to past learning can increase comprehension and retention (Echevarria, Vogt & Short 2016).
Life outside the classroom provides students with an opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills in real-life settings, such as field trips, classroom projects, or student presentations. Doing this allows students to see how what they are learning relates directly to them as individuals while building confidence in themselves and in their abilities. Making connections like these will make students more engaged in class while improving performance both at home and on exams; creating these bonds may even help engage those struggling academically or behaviorally.