Getting to Know & Love You!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Aug. 7, 2018, 9:53 a.m.

The beginning of the school year is all about getting to know students and students getting know you and each other. Building relationships is key to having a successful year.

Spending one-on-one time with each of your students can sound like an extravagant task

because of the demands on our time. However, scheduling a one to five minute sit down with each student will prove to be worth every second! The best time to make this happen is during independent reading or writing time, math centers, lunch time, or even recess. During this time chat with each student about their family, interests, or simply what they are reading or writing about. The goal is to discover something about the student that will help you connect them to the community around them and identify the academic strategies and skills they will need to move forward.

Start by brainstorming a list of questions that will help you find things you and others in the community have in common with each student.

What is the student interested in? What or who does the student love? Who or what do they loathe? What do they do when they aren't in school? What are their goals for this school year? How do they learn best? What keeps them from learning? What are their goals for the future?

When you spend one-on-one time with students, it lets them see that you care about them and value them as a person. This creates a culture of trust and community that lays the foundation for connecting with students' hearts and heads.

Use our FREE Alphaboxes Interview to have students list important words about themselves. Get to know students by asking them about specific words on their alphaboxes chart and having them explain or a tell a story that goes with that word. Next, have students partner up with classmates to review each other's chart and find out what they have in common. The time it takes to build relationships first will pay off tenfold throughout the entire year!

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

Learn More »