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9: How to Connect with Your Students

How important is the relationship you build with your students, and how can you make that relationship better? James Sturtevant, author of the book You've Gotta Connect, joins me to talk about why the teacher-student relationship is more significant...

Updated on July 11
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Key Smash Notes In This Episode

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This book is focused on helping teachers connect with their students. By connecting more deeply, teachers enable their students to do well on standardized tests, succeed at the college level, compete with other young people around the world, and find happiness.

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This is sometimes difficult to do as acceptance and endorsement become synonymous when they are not. Acceptance is simply a firm grip on reality and understanding where a student is at.

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Many people who go into teaching were good students themselves. Thus, they may have not gotten to know others who were academically un-inclined. Teachers focused solely on nostalgia and their past experiences are now faced with dealing with all types of students.

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Relaxing more, approaching interactions with students differently, and removing one's ego are all pivotal. A teacher cannot take things too personally.

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Sarcasm has to be foiled as it can be poison in a classroom. When disciplining or redirecting a class clown, a teacher must make it their mission to develop a relationship with that student.

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A teacher can tell stories about themselves. This opens up channels of communication and makes the teacher more approachable to their students.

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Students will often return sarcastic comments back to the teacher. This creates a confrontational atmosphere in the classroom and reinforces insecurities that the student may have deep down in their inner being.

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