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Relationships: Still the Key to Success in Education

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I have always been a believer in Dr. James Comer’s statement and as I have become an administrator, I now believe it more then ever.  The most effective teachers I see on a daily basis do great things in their classroom: they have dialogue in their classroom (not monologues), they ask essential questions, they allow students the opportunity to collaborate, and they infuse technology when its applicable and when it can increase engagement, but above all else- they form relationships with their students.  These are the teachers that students want to be in their classroom and will do whatever is asked by these teachers.  Effective teaching begins with showing students you care about them and you want them in your classroom.  Great teachers create this atmosphere in their classroom and as an administrator you can feel this as soon as you walk into the classroom.  As an administrator, I am a true believer in teachable moments with students as opposed to just punishing them.  I still form relationships with students (lunch duty, after school activities, classroom visits, and in the hallway- I use every chance I get) and these relationships allow for teachable moments.  Does it work 100% of the time- NO but I have noticed differences in students when you dialogue with them and do not just talk at them.  Students can make changes if they believe you care about them.  Encourage students, don’t discourage them.

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