Teachers who engage students in those everyday moments are remembered for a lifetime.
Sometimes we don’t believe that.
We allow ourselves to believe that memories are made exclusively by a grand gesture. We think we have to be out of the box. Often, we think we have to do something other than be ourselves.
But I really believe that each of those statements are lies.
You will make a difference for the students you serve. Make sure it’s because they see you interact with them in a genuine, authentic way (especially in the everyday interactions). Those exchanges–the ones in the day to day times that seem small and don’t take long–might leave the most profound impact on our students. How we treat people each and every day can create just as memorable an experience as a big event.
Here are 4 simple ways to make everyday interactions places that create a lasting impact on students:
- Give students fist bumps and high fives. Maybe it’s to celebrate something awesome going on. I tend to like it most when it’s for no reason at all.
- Take a selfie with a student. Make sure you follow all the proper protocol and procedures for your campus/district so that taking and sharing these moments is nothing but positive. Students love selfies (and it’s especially novel when they get to take them with old people… like us…).
- Find common ground with students in conversation. Who likes your favorite sports teams? Do you enjoy the same tv shows as any of your students? Do you play the same video games as your students? Even if you don’t (maybe especially if you don’t) immediately have common ground here, making the effort to learn what students enjoy goes a long, long way. Bring up an interest you have in common during your next conversation and watch the student light up!
- Ask about life outside of school. Show an interest in their upcoming weekend plans (or how the weekend just went). Find out what kids are involved in outside of school. Who’s in the local theater company? Who’s competing on the weekends? Who’s at the library over the weekend? Who’s bored (and ready to come back to school) most of the weekend? All of this is great to learn about your students.
Everyday interactions happen each and every day. Each one is an opportunity to make a positive impact on students. Don’t miss your chance to make an impact!
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If you like what you’re reading here, consider checking out my book, Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth. The book highlights six truths that will help you THRIVE as an educator, including one–Everyday Every Day–that discusses how our daily interactions with students often create the longest lasting impact. Read more about the book here or find the book on Amazon.