According to kids interviewed in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the keys for creating successful students are mostly cheap and obvious.
The students listed these items as the keys to their successes:
– a quiet environment,
– fewer distractions,
– smaller classes,
– encouragement from teachers,
– help from teachers, and
– the ability to make up missed work.
All of these ideas from the students reveal a need to establish, maintain, and deepen relationships with students–to know what students need and to know them.
This article adds credence to my fervent belief in relationship building in the classroom. I feel it’s the most important aspect of teaching and is the primary reason for just about all of my successes in the classroom.
My students say much the same thing. My district said the same thing too, but only after numerous conferences, study groups, and trainings.
I guess we should have just asked the kids.