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I really appreciate the point made here in this article. When teachers take the time to establish a personal connection with their students first and foremost, it seems to be the more effective way to enable a trust and desire to learn. I always found myself more interested in listening to people who I could connect with and enjoyed.

I agree that making the effort and wanting to connect with your students is a necessity if you are an educator. It not only builds a trusting relationship, it helps students learn. I am blessed that our school allots time every week for us to connect with our students. Thank you for sharing.

Bryan's point here is well made. In my classroom, I strive to be the teacher I would want to have myself. Establishing relationships of trust and friendliness with students does more to help classroom management than any set of rules or punishments ever could.

I completely agree with the human element that was mentioned. When teachers begin to make personal connections with the students, the students will begin to like, as well as listen, to them more. In the book What Keeps Teachers Going, Sonia Nieto (2006) speaks on writings by Mildred Dickerson that stated "only when teachers recognize their own "forgotten, repressed, or ignored" heritages, their own experiences and family histories, that they can begin to understand the students they teach" (p. 25). With that being said, it takes an understanding of one's self to be able to properly connect with the students.

Nieto, S. (2003). What keeps teachers going? New York: Teachers College Press.

It is refreshing to see an educator talking about what can be done to help children feel safe and secure in their learning environment, so that they will want to and be able to learn.

I first heard this in a workshop on salesmanship. I think it applies here as well:
"People don't care what you know, until they know that you care. " -John Maxwell ~

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