Sunday, March 1, 2015

It Starts With Relationships

Sometimes, I have to remind myself to slow down, and enjoy the moment.  This statement can be applied to so many areas and events in our lives.  This mantra seems to have attached itself to my thoughts these days.  If I embrace it, it will certainly impact my teaching and the relationships I'm building with my students in positive ways.  When I think about it, this is the reasons why I became a teacher in the first place...because I wanted to make a difference.  

It starts with relationships.  Maybe you've heard this before, but it's true.  If you want to reach a child, build a relationship with him first and the rest will follow.  It's easy to get caught up in the day to days of teaching.  The mental checklists, the lesson plans, and the curriculum are all constant staples in our world.   However, these will not be the things that our students will remember.

Last week, one of my first graders asked me if she could share something during our morning meeting.  If you know anything about first graders, you know they enjoy telling REALLY long stories.  While I enjoy their stories, we don't have enough hours in the day to entertain them all.  So, I reluctantly agreed to let this eager first grade share her story.  We were in the middle of our meeting and Karina asked if she could get the note she wanted to share.  I said yes, and she returned with a piece of notebook paper.  The title at the top was, "10 Things I Like About My Teacher".  Here is her list:

1.  She is nice.
2.  She loves us.
3.  She believes us.
4.  When we can't do something she helps us.
5.  She lets us have free choice.
6.  She is wonderful.
7.  She is funny.
8.  She laughs at what we say that is funny.
9.  She is serious.
10. We love her.

As she was reading this list, I had to smile.  I had no idea that I was the subject for her list.  It was so sweet and so sincere.  I can't tell you how glad I was to have taken the time to let her share this note.  I especially like number nine but I'm not so sure how to take it.  It does confirm a few things.  Karina knows that we do "serious" work in our classroom, but we also take the time to know each other, love each other, and... laugh.

By the way, Karina said that it was o.k. for me to share her note.


  1. Did she let you keep it? That definitely goes in the file for days you need a boost. That she took the time to write it out AND wanted to share shows you some magic in your class. :-)

    1. Yes, she did let me keep it. It makes me smile every time I read it. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Ah, what a wonderful way to start the week. It is obvious that this little girl is learning to love learning because of her teacher. I appreciate how perceptive you were that she needed to share that day. What a precious gift she gave you with that note and message in return.

    1. Lori,
      I think that is what I want most for my students…that they love learning. Thank you for the kind words and thanks for stopping by.

  3. This is awesome. Teaching high school kids, I don't always get many moments like this, but when I do, I have to tuck it away and treasure it.

    1. Deb,
      Yes, elementary is quite different from High School in that way. I get lots of notes, hugs, pictures, and apples too:) Thanks for stopping by.

  4. As a parent, I am so grateful for those "magical" teacher my daughters have been blessed to learn from. In those classrooms, my daughters felt loved, and believed in. they thrived as learners.

    I think your student is telling you that you are magical.

    What a blessing you are to those kids!

    1. Greg,
      I love that you mentioned "thrived"! That is exactly what I want for my students. Thank you for the wonderful comments. I'm happy you stopped by.

  5. I am going to hold that thought "If you want to reach a child, build a relationship with him and the rest will follow" I wholeheartedly agree. Teachers can get caught up in the day to day tasks and forget we are here for the kids. Your kids can feel it and know that you care. You are blessing the hearts of many little ones and will continue to reap the rewards in all areas! Good job!

  6. What a wonderful list!
    How sweet and it says so much about the amazing teacher you are!