Student teacher connections

Some teachers get frustrated trying to reach kids. This teacher has the answer.

Kids don't get teachers. Teachers don't get kids. Times change. Life can be hard for some kids. How do we connect when we're so different? We need trust. We need respect. We need learning to happen. Here's how.

James has taught for thirty years. Although he's been trained on many tools, James believes most teacher education training misses the point. Teaching is about relationships.

[button href=”″ primary=”true” centered=”true” newwindow=”true”]Listen on iTunes[/button]

[button href=”″ primary=”false” centered=”true” newwindow=”true”]Listen to James Sturtevant online.[/button]

[tweetthis]When we lose sight of the fact that education is a people business, we get in trouble. @jamessturtevant #edreform[/tweetthis]

Don't believe him? Then, believe the American Psychological Association. Here's what they say on their website,

“Positive teacher-student relationships — evidenced by teachers' reports of low conflict, a high degree of closeness and support, and little dependency — have been shown to support students' adjustment to school, contribute to their social skills, promote academic performance and foster students' resiliency in academic performance (Battistich, Schaps, & Wilson, 2004; Birch & Ladd, 1997; Curby, Rimm-Kaufman, & Ponitz, 2009; Ewing & Taylor, 2009; Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Rudasill, Reio, Stipanovic, & Taylor, 2010).

Teachers who experience close relationships with students reported that their students were less likely to avoid school, appeared more self-directed, more cooperative and more engaged in learning (Birch & Ladd, 1997; Decker, Dona, & Christenson, 2007; Klem & Connell, 2004).”

We need positive relationships with our students. How do we do it?

Important Take Aways About Relating to Students

  • Add teacher James Sturdevant to your PLN @jamessturtevant
  • James' book that was discussed in the show: You've Gotta Connect: Building Relationships That Lead to Engaged Students, Productive Classrooms, and Higher Achievement
  • Do you accept your students AS THEY ARE? James says teachers must have “radical acceptance.” “We must accept kids wherever they are.”
  • Was your first year a disaster  too? James' first September as a teacher was awful. “They wanted nothing to do with me. That was the longest September of my life. At the end of that month, I felt like a failure.”
  • Can you let go of the “good old days” and focus on now?
  • Can you listen to your students so you can relate?

Alberty Einstein said

“If a is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.”

There are times we need to listen to our students. This year, I'm going to be putting a timer on myself and limit my talking. As James said,

“Something in me told me ot shut up and listen to their conversatin and I would learn something.”

Kids need us. Students need us. They need us to be adults. We need to put on our listening ears and not just expect it from them. James' wisdom from thirty years of teaching speaks to us all.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere