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Every Day Good Practice!

Connecting with my students before I start teaching. This can be as simple as when I would sit on a stool in front of my science demo’ table, look at the class, give eye contact to each student and say, “Hi.” This may sound like a small thing but it’s not. It’s a big thing. A behavior rule that I learned from a professional behaviorist is this:

“Connect before you direct.”

Sometimes one or two students would want to speak up and say what the atmosphere was like on campus that day or someone would want to ask about my day. I didn’t spend a long time on this unless there was some big issue on campus that day because I needed to get busy on my lesson plan. My students and I looked forward to this every day.

In a similar way I still remember one of my professors that started each art history class with a quick, cartoon that related to our lesson and was entertaining. I looked forward to those little cartoons and his quick debriefing of the meaning. This was another way to connect before class started. Even a brief connection like this helps students get in the mood to learn and helps build a good class rapport.

Final Thought: The few minutes it takes at the beginning of class to connect with your students is well worth the time.

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