Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Making personal connections with students

Once or twice a month teachers at my school have a meeting to discuss behavior issues. I'm really impressed with my fellow teachers. We only talk about specific behaviors and always say that when we discuss a students behavior we talk as if they are in the classroom. This really cuts down on unnecessary comments and to be honest it's much more efficient.

In particular one student was mentioned. He is very bright, very intelligent but does not always fully engage in class. One thing that teachers noticed was he is constantly doodling. He has talent and obviously really enjoys drawing. I decided I would go out and get him a little sketch book. I pulled him aside today and showed him the book. His eyes lit up! I told him he had to improve his behavior and if he did and his classroom teachers told me he had improved I would give it to him as a place to draw. I made it very clear that he had to earn this book as a reward. The classroom teachers agreed to find a time during the day he would be allowed to draw in response to class.

This might not be the perfect solution. And I know I can't fix every student by giving them gifts but it is important to find personal connections with students and find out what motivates and drives them. I will keep you posted on weather or not he earns the sketch book and if this actually had a lasting impact.

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