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Learn the Person

 

Disciplines > Teaching > Classroom management > Learn the Person

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

A common and very powerful piece of advice is to learn and use the names of all your students.

Beyond this, you can make a significant extra impact by learning more about them as a person, for example by finding out what siblings they have who are or who have been in the school and discovering what football team they support.

It is also helpful to connect with their parents, which can be useful -- understanding parents goes a long way towards understanding the child.

Thus, rather than just learning their names (which is still a good first step), learn the person.

Example

Good morning Jaime. I saw your brother in the supermarket last week. He said he's going to the local football match on Saturday. Do you support the team too? ... Do you play football yourself? ... Teamwork is important, don't you think?

Discussion

Learning the person not only helps you connect with the student and build an effective working relationship -- it also helps you understand how they learn and behave, and hence shape your lessons and the disciplinary approaches you use with them.

Finding a common point of interest can be particularly effective with pupils who feel they are different and who are likely to take an 'us and them' position against teachers.

Even if you do not find a point of connection, just showing a real interest in the person may be something they have rarely experienced and it is surprising sometimes how positively even rebellious children can respond.

See also

Connect with their parents

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