Are you striving to create a warm and inclusive learning environment? A place where children feel a deep sense of belonging and are motivated to meet high expectations? In my experience, building connections no matter what is a critical foundation that will allow you to go way beyond what you can accomplish with basic (though important!) behavior management or classroom management skills.
"Building connections no matter what" is a teaching stance that emphasizes the importance of embedding positive interactions and authentic relationship-building with each child. It's about engaging with children just because, no strings attached. Showing them that your care is not contingent on their behavior.
One effective strategy for connections is to attend to your ratios of positive to negative interactions. Keeping them at least 5:1 positive:negative is a key aspect of being a "Warm Demander." In this strategy, the focus is on "warmth". By prioritizing strong and trusting relationships with children, they are more likely to participate in and follow the high expectations you set and hold for them.
The idea is simple, but not always easy: aim for at least five positive and authentic interactions with each child for every one negative or corrective interaction. It's all about "connection before correction." All individuals, regardless of age, are more receptive to critical feedback or correction when they know the person giving it genuinely cares about them. Building a strong foundation of trust and connection is key, the message is that a child knows you are there for them - no matter what.
Positive interactions can include
A seemingly small shift in perspective can yield significant results in terms of student engagement, behavior, and academic progress. Bring this strategy to life by using this tracking sheet to monitor your interactions with students.
As you explore the concept of 'building connections no matter what,' we invite you to deepen your understanding and practical application through our comprehensive course and live, ongoing support. Members of our Positive and Engaged Learning Community foster positive relationships, enhance classroom dynamics, and elevate student outcomes. We go in depth on these ideas with a ton of examples.
In the meantime, connect with us to share your experiences and reflections, and let's together make a lasting impact on education. We look forward to hearing your insights.