Hi friends! Last week I chatted about how to support your students' independence. One of the best ways to do this is through an initial meeting. If you missed that post, click here to read it first. This week, I am diving into the second part of what that meeting looks like with your student and some more ways to build quality relationships with your students. Your student's success depends on how well you two work together and connect. Keep reading for a free game template that I am sharing with you to help you along.
Are You a Good Fit?
During your first meeting, you have a great opportunity to start the teacher-student relationship off to a good start. A lot of families contact me to tutor their children, and the first thing they want me to do is to test their child. Now, it is important to know what reading level the child is on, but I don't believe this is the most important first step.
I don't want a child to think that I only am meeting them to get a test result or that it is all I care about. I want them to know that I care about them, their interests, and whatever else they want to share with me. Sometimes this can frustrate parents when they do not understand what I am trying to establish. It is a good idea to let them know that there is a lot of informal evaluations happening. Online connections are hard. I like to take time to listen to my future student and learn from them. What do they really think about online learning? Do they seem like they will need a lot of breaks? Do they want to talk a lot? These are things that will help you in the long run to really connect with your student and set them up for success.
Begin with a Quick Check
Once you get to know a little about your student, don't stop there. I like to start each learning session with a Quick Check. I say "quick check" and my students know that we are checking in on each other. How does your head feel? How does your body feel? Did you sleep well? These are important things to know. The answers help guide you and the way you will teach them that day.
I once had a student that tested all morning before I saw her. She was tired. Her mom knew to let me know how the morning went, and it was so important that she did. Instead of sitting and doing reading activities. We did movement learning. We stretched and took breaks. We played fun games, and we laughed. She needed that, and luckily her mom was smart enough to let me in on how the morning was a little stressful and tiring to their child. The most wonderful thing was that the student still learned her lessons that day, just in a fun and engaging way!
Use a Game to Get to Know Your Student
Games are a fun way to learn concepts and skills, but they can also be used to get to know your student. I like to find out things that are not related to school. The game that I am sharing with you this week can be used in person or online. It is a blank template that you can plug in with your own questions for getting to know your students. This way, you can customize the questions that you ask based on the age and grade level of your students. If you use it online, you can upload it as a PDF or share it under the document camera. Older students may just want you to ask them questions. That's ok too. Make it like a quiz show game. 😊
It is not only important for you to get to know your student, but they should learn a little about you too. Let them ask you questions about yourself. You don't have to share everything 😉. But, let them in on your favorite pet or place you like to visit.
Some important things that you should be on the lookout for when interacting with your student (These are also great starting points when you sit down to create your questions for the game template):
Can the student follow directions?
Can they do things independently from mom and dad?
Monitor their movements and energy.
Are they competitive?
Do they need to know the agenda of the learning session before you begin?
Would the student rather have a drawing break or a movement break? The picture above shows a drawing break that my student needed during a lesson.
End with a Share!
It's so important to keep the relationship building going. It shouldn't just stop after the first one or two sessions. I like to always end my class with a share. This can also be especially helpful when you have a student who wants to tell or show you something during lessons. Tell them to wait for the share.
Before you sign off from the learning session, each of you share something with the other. Yes, I said you should share something too. It's important for your student to see a little different side of you. I've shared my favorite mug, song, and stuffed animal with my students. They love this! What would you share with your students?
I'm also going to end this blog post with a share. Enjoy my FREE Get to Know Your Student Game Template. Click HERE to download and be part of the Read to Rewire email community! 😊
Comment below and tell me how you get to know your students! I also want to hear what questions you plug into the game template.
Have a great week!
Michelle @Read to Rewire