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Best advice from teacher to teacher: Cultivate relationships

2013 September 20
by HISD Communications

In last week’s edition of eNews, we asked teachers what the best advice was that they ever received from another educator, and we got plenty of good suggestions.

Most dealt with setting clear boundaries and forging strong connections with both students and parents.

“I know it sounds like a cliché,” said one respondent, “but kids really don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. It really is all about relationships. I try to get to know each of my students and their parents, because teaching is not something you do to a child, it is a relationship you have with a child.”

“Pass out index cards on the first day of class and get parents’ or guardians’ names and cell phone numbers so you can start building relationships with them,” said another. “Do it while the kids still like you, before they get mad.”

“I was working with students who had gotten in trouble in their regular classrooms,” said one former teacher. “And I let them know the first day that I didn’t play. So the stuff they’d been doing in their other classrooms, they would not be doing in mine. You have to set new expectations. I will treat you with respect, but I’m not going to be your friend. I don’t need a 16-year-old friend.”

And for particularly bad days that nothing seems to go right? Observed one respondent, “There’s always tomorrow.”

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