Friday, May 3, 2019

10 Ways to Show Your Students that You Care

Have you noticed your student’s face light up when you say, ‘hello’? Do you remember the excitement in their voice when you asked them about their pet or favorite sports team? It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of teaching that we often become so concerned with what we are teaching, rather than who we are teaching. How can you show your students that you care about their presence and participation in your class and still find time to teach all the learning outcomes outlined in your state’s curriculum? 


Developing a stable, nurturing classroom environment can have a positive effect on a student’s cognitive processes, attention span, and decision-making skills. Furthermore, research has shown that students are motivated to learn when they feel valued and appreciated. Here are 10 quick and easy ways to show your students that you care as much about who they are as you do about their letter grades:

1. Greet your students every morning.

  • Remember that every morning is a chance for a fresh start.
  • Teachers can smile, say hello, or have a secret handshake.

2. Acknowledge their presence. 

  • Ask students about their hobbies, talents, special events, or even what they had for supper. Show an appropriate amount of interest in their life outside of school. 
  • Give students an opportunity to share their interests and news with the class. For examlple, one year I had a student who absolutely loved sharks. He became our "resident shark expert" and set up a Shark Learning Center for the other students.
  • Remember days that are special to the student such as birthdays, events, and cultural celebrations.


3. Presume competence. 
  • Assume students are capable and encourage their strengths.
  • Ask students to be an "expert" in a topic of their choice.

4. Provide appropriate learning materials.

  • Give students access to learning materials that are age-appropriate and interesting.
  • Appeal to age-appropriate learning styles such as gamify content or use media and apps to deliver some of the instruction.

5. Make reference to things that are relevant in their lives. 
  • Get to know popular books in your student’s age range, discuss topics of current interest, and refer to familiar characters/heroes/well-known people in their world. 

6. Make praise meaningful and give it often. 

  • Give genuine praise and encouragement; acknowledge hard work or a challenge that was overcome.
  • Write positive notes to student and send positive notes home.

7. Support struggles.

  • Provide an appropriate amount of support when a student struggles academically, emotionally, or physically. 
  • Model a growth mindset and guide the student in finding solutions for success.

8. Give responsibilities. 

  • Give students classroom jobs.
  • Provide opportunities for leadership within the school such as gym equipment monitor, primary class helper, translator, or scribe.

9. Give choice.

  • Allow students to have opportunities to determine how and what they learn. For example, project-based learning is a way to give students choice.

10. Say good-bye at the end of the day. 

  • End the day on a positive note. 
  • Summarize the day, point out the highlights, and say good-bye. 

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