Hi Kayla, That is a great question and can certainly be a challenge. I always try to build a relationship with all the students in my class but it is not always easy and does not always work. When they are harder to connect with I try to remember to at least check in with them during class work time to see if they need help, or even before/after the bell rings just a quick personal hello. I used to keep a costco sized bag of pretzels in my room at lunchtime and tell kids they could come in for help anytime, or even just grab a handful of pretzels and leave. Being available, easy to approach, kind, and welcoming are important things that you can offer your students.
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On my team, we used to have something called "silent mentoring." When there were students who we felt we couldn't connect with, we become a silent mentor. The goal was to have some individualized interaction with that student every day. It may have been commenting on a new shirt, asking about their morning or soccer practice, etc... we found that by taking the time to connect, the student warmed up and valued that relationship. Kids really need to know that positive adult role models care about them, so force yourself to do just that and you'll be amazed by the results.
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