Learning doesn’t happen without relationships, and building a community in your classroom can improve discipline and create a more open environment, according to Edutopia.
Teachers can establish relationships with students by being willing to share selected aspects of their own lives at the beginning of the year alongside classroom rules and expectations as a way to reveal their humanity and approachability.
Educators can also utilize a number of ice-breaker activities that allow students to learn more about each other.
Once the initial honeymoon period at the beginning of the school year is over, teachers and students realize they are pretty much stuck with one another until the school year ends. However, with the proper relationship building, the classroom can look more like comrades sharing a great adventure.
Relationship building exercises, especially those employed at the beginning of the school year, can allow classrooms to build that sense of camaraderie. Fostering classroom relationships not only helps students connect with one another in the learning process, but also develops social-emotional learning skills for the future.
Relationship building between teachers and students is even more crucial. The American Psychological Association suggests that “positive teacher-student relationships draw students into the process of learning and promote their desire to learn (assuming that the content material of the class is engaging, age-appropriate and well matched to the student's skills).” Other experts suggest relationship building as one of the key aspects of preventing and solving discipline problems in the classroom.