How long does it take..

Discussion in 'General Education' started by K-5_teacherguy, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Before you start to feel like you have developed positive relationships with most of your students, in the beginning of the school year? I'm a first time teacher (minus a maternity leave I covered last year) and overall things are going well, but I feel like I have a bunch of little strangers inside my classroom!

    We have done tons of team building, I have given reading and personal interest surveys, and I chat with my kids whenever I can (lunch, recess, in line at the end of the day, etc.) I still just feel like we haven't really "meshed" yet and I'm not sure if it's something I'm doing/not doing or if I need to give it some more time. We have only had 8 days of school.

    I realize this may sound like a silly question, but how long does it take before you start to really get comfortable with your students and vice versa? For me (and I'm sure many others), the relationships I build with my students are the best part of the job, so I'm just curious.
     
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  3. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Feeling comfortable and getting into a groove is different than feeling like you know all of the kids well - which is different than having a relationship with each kid. Some kids I click with and like from day one; some I can barely tolerate all year long.

    I understand how building these positive relationships can seem crucial to new teachers since having the kids "like you" and be "on your side" can seem paramount to your success as a new teacher. But you never want to appear desperate for their approval or "kid-ship."

    Personally, I don't rush or force relationships with students because having the kids like me and see me as "their favorite teacher" or the "cool teacher" means little to me and can backfire. Show them pieces of who you are and let them do the same in an organic way - no need to rush it.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 23, 2015

    ^ Agree.

    Don't push relationship building. It will happen naturally if you are a good person, and care about the students' learning.

    Some years we built relationships fairly quickly, but then they seemed shaky and seemed to sour as time went on. Other years, I didn't feel like we built relationships until almost half the year had passed, but once they were built, they felt really strong and genuine.

    Don't stress about it.
     
  5. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Usually about 7 weeks into the year I realize I just love my new group.

    The first few weeks I miss my old students. Then I feel sad because I don't know my new students like I knew my old students. Out of nowhere I realize I love my new group and things really improve from there.
     
  6. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Aug 23, 2015

    For me it happens around the 5th week or so...long enough for the kids to get a sense of what your personality is like.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 23, 2015

    OP I think you are doing great. You seem to be doing everything right, the kids are listening to you, you are building relationships and it's only been 8 days! Don't rush it, keep doing what you're doing and it will all work out.

    By the way, some kids will never open up. They're too shy, they're extreme introverts, there could be some things happening at home or in the past... you can try to reach them, but if you can't, don't feel that you failed.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2015

    It varies for me. Some years it happens within the first few weeks, but I've had it take until after Christmas. This year I'm looping with about half of my kids from last year, so we are moving fast. We start week 4 tomorrow, and I'm really comfortable,with them.
     
  9. leeshis0019

    leeshis0019 Companion

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    Aug 24, 2015

    Don't force it.

    I'll take the first day to figure out their interests. I'll try to spend a few minutes in class just "talking" with the class about something random [or somehow connected to the assignment].

    I think my student's just figure out that I care over time and they like that. They've had teachers that don't care about them [and I understand those teachers]. I already have a student asking me to prom (he's male and so am I so I know he's joking) and calling me his "newest favorite teacher", but he did the same thing with a former teacher so it's not new behavior.

    I also have some students that are aggravating me and I don't see how I could possibly enjoy their time in my classroom. They get the work done. They talk and distract others. I ask them not to and they ignore me. I tell them to stop and they still try and ignore. It just becomes a "thing" and they end up in trouble.


    There's a nice mix I think. Some like me. Some don't like me at all. And some are just neutral. I'm not trying to know them one-by-one as individuals, but I can try my best and they generally see that.


    Edit: Also, it seems like this is the first time I've contacted most of their parents regularly and they think I'm actively working against them. It's actually pretty hilarious. The first time I did it after a unit test they were annoyed (it wasn't the first time I contacted parents...just the first after a test). I just think it's amazing that more teachers before me didn't contact parents regularly with the amazing tools we have now.
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 25, 2015

    I "loop" with my 4th, 5th, and 6th graders - by the time my 6th graders get to me I've had most of them for 3 full school years and we'll have 1 more year together. My 3rd graders are always new to me - although their 2nd grade science classroom is next to mine, so I know quite a few of them by the time they get up to me (either through hallway interactions or siblings). I also only get to see my students 3 out of 6 cycle days, so I feel like it takes me longer to connect to some students in 3rd grade compared to other grade levels.

    But it happens ~ I don't like forcing it, so I try to just let it happen naturally.
     
  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 25, 2015

    In the above posts, I was reminded of a procedure I learned at a workshop several years ago, to regularly send home "Happy Grams" to the students and parents about something positive I had noticed concerning the student. Inexpensive blank cards with pictures on the front can be bought at "dollar" stores, but over time, by cutting off the fronts of greeting cards sent to me, a large collection of free cards with very interesting pictures on the front can be obtained. I kept track on my desk calendar to be sure I never missed a student.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 25, 2015

    I love this idea. Thank you for sharing with us - here's hoping you won't be offended if I steal or borrow this from you. ;)

    I can imagine that the parents and students were thrilled with your "project", and in truth, everyone likes to be reminded of something we did that was so nice it was noticed. It certainly beats the alternative, where you are only sending home doom and gloom reports that create tension at home and in the classroom. I bet parents and students were initially surprised by a "gotcha" moment that was about something wonderful, but oh so pleased.

    Can't you just imagine the difference in a student's demeanor and desire to excel in the classroom simply because it feels so nice to be in the spot light for doing the right things? We write up positives, and the AP's will come by, take the student into the hall during class, and share the good news. Those students were always more committed to staying on the path of positive recognition, and the rest of the class was hoping next time it would be their name that was called. It speaks volumes when a teacher truly notices the small details, because those details matter. Let me say again thank you for sharing this - imagine how this would really motivate students and help you, the teacher, to realize how much is "right" with your students. Looking for the positive trumps waiting for them to falter any day of the week. :hugs:
     
  13. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2015

    It took me about half a year to build relationships with my high schoolers. One of the things that really helped me was telling them stories about myself and my life. I've travelled, done some interesting things, and I am definitely a storyteller. It's just a part of my personality. At first, I never shared things like that because I wanted to be private, but then I did. I tie it into the curriculum, so, for example, I told a few funny stories about how I lived in a tent when we studied Henry David Thoreau. And I shared stories about how I ended up in jail in India due to a communication error when we discuss word meanings and precise word choice.
     
  14. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Aug 25, 2015

    I think I do it within a week. For the strong personality kids at least. I can tell right away the kids I need to be strict with and then I immediately make them laugh in the same class period. That way they don't fight me when I give them direction.
     

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