@Math_Johnson had responded with "Great One. That is the heart of good teaching."
He is right, connecting with our students is important for good teaching. It isn't always easy though and it requires some thought and effort on my part. The question is how do we do it effectively? What does a meaningful one on one interaction look like? How do we find time to do this on a daily basis? Also, as a second language teacher is it harder to make connections when you can only speak to students in the target language?
One thing that I try to do everyday is to meet every student at the door in the morning. This is something I learned from Harry Wong's "First Day of School." I stand at the door and greet everyone as they come in. It is a quick interaction, good morning, how are you good to see you today but I get a chance to talk to everyone. I also do the same thing at the end of the day making sure that I say goodbye to all my students individually. One challenge here is to make sure I connect with my students who arrive late or leave early.
Another idea for a quick interaction is the daily compliment. Try to find one thing positive to say to each of your students every day. Research shows that well given, honest compliments help build relationship and increases retention of information too. Article: Receiving Compliments has Positive Effect.
Here is a blog article on tips for giving effective compliments. One of my challenges here is remembering who I haven't complimented yet in a day. I'm considering using Class Dojo to record this interaction for myself. I don't use Class Dojo to track students behaviour but I could use it to track mine!
My favorite way to connect with students daily though has to be student conferencing and this is the area that I really need to work on too. I use Daily 5 in my room which in theory should give me a chance to meet one on one with all my students often. I track my interactions with students using CONFER. I blogged about why here. My goal for 2014 is to make those conferences a priority in my schedule.
So what did I learn at school today? Relationships affect student learning. There are some easy things I can do to connect with students on a daily basis. They aren't without challenges and I need to be conscious about making them a priority. What about you? How do you connect with your students on a daily basis? Do you have issues building relationships with students in your target language? How important do you think it is to connect with students on a daily basis?