I love listening to Rita Pierson. She's like the Teachers' Edition of Tony Robbins. He passion, zest, love, and caring shines through all the time and it is always great to see that in a teacher. In this video, she talks about how relationships are the number one thing that teachers need to learn. It is all about building relationships with the kids because, as she says, "Children don't learn from people they don't like!" I have known this to be 100% true... not just because I have witnessed it over time, but because I have experienced it. I had teachers that I despised and those were the same teachers that were they to collect a paycheck. They were the teachers that didn't want to answer questions. They were the teachers who couldn't wait to get away from the students! And, in my opinion, they were teachers that had no business calling themselves a teacher and had no business being in that classroom (the problem with tenure).
However, what Rita says here is that you need to be a teacher who builds relationships. That is one thing that I try to do when I come into a new class. I get to know the faces and the personalities of the kids. I try to learn their likes and dislikes. I find out what their interests are and what similarities we have. I make sure to learn their names and learn what they want to be called (nicknames). I talk to them and treat them as I would treat another adult that I was talking to (because they are just little people, after all). This makes all the difference! Not only do you have a better class that actually LIKES you! But you also have a class that is excited to come to school everyday and get to see you. This leads to better classroom management, more engaged students, and students that are ready to learn! Just because a student may be struggling, it doesn't mean that they aren't trying. Maybe they just don't know how to express how they are struggling. When a teacher has a relationship built with a student, the student develops a trust with that teacher and the teacher becomes easier to talk to and to discuss issues with. Also, when relationships are built between teachers and students and that trust is built, the students feel that they can be more open with you and less afraid of you.
I had teachers that I was afraid of until I left the school (and some I still fear today, lol). But the teachers that took time to build a relationship with me and treated me like another human being rather than someone "under them" were the teachers that I loved and learned to trust and I know that I can still talk to them today and be completely open and honest with them.
In connecting this to technology, this is one of the reasons that I think having a Google Form done at the beginning of the year/semester is a good idea. It gets you to know the kids a little better before actually talking to them. You can learn some of their interests, goals, hobbies, learning styles, etc. It is a useful tool and the surveys can even be sent out before even meeting your new students if you have their e-mail addresses (which some schools have those records while others don't). But even so, that could be a great "first or second day activity."
[TED]. (2013, May 3). Every kid needs a champion | Rita Pierson. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFnMTHhKdkw&list=PLbRLdW37G3oMquOaC-HeUIt6CWk-FzaGp&index=9
Richard Sable is from Vista, CA and graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2014 with a B.A. in Social Science and is currently working on his single subject teaching credential in the field of Social Science at CSU, San Marcos.