Personal connections are important for students to become invested in their learning. This is something that should begin the first day of school and continue as students are walking out the door and into their summer vacation.
Many teachers feel there is not enough time to fit a community activity into class time each day without risking lost time for content. Although it may seem awkward at first, most students enjoy sharing about themselves and getting to know one another. As relationships build between students, and the teacher-student relationship grows, students are more willing to pose questions, contribute to discussions, answer questions and facilitate their learning. More importantly, students are engaged and care about their own progress. When students find themselves struggling, they are more likely to admit when they need help. They are also more willing to reflect on their learning and access additional support if they sense their teacher truly cares.
Once strong relationships between teachers and students are established, there will be increased discussion about school between students, parents and teachers. The line of communication between all is open! And it only takes a few minutes.