Behaviour management is a key part of having a successful school year. But before we start focusing only on behaviour management implementation, we need to talk about what is going to help you become a successful teacher in the classroom—developing authentic and genuine relationships with your students. Here are things you can start with on day one to help build positive interactions.

  • Be authentic and genuine – that means educators can always use a reminder to build relationships with the students.
  • Being authentic and genuine includes smiling, making eye contact, and having social conversations with students. Give your students time to talk to you. Teaching can be hard and overwhelming.
  • Fostering an environment where your students feel safe to take risks and have fun promotes creative thinking. It also helps your students find the “joy” in learning.
  • Carve out a chunk of your classroom and allow your students to decide how the space should be used. And leave plenty of room on your walls for student work. You can even let your students choose a classroom theme. When students feel like they are valued decision makers in the classroom they take pride in the space and are more conscientious of the room and of the materials they use. It creates an environment that says, “This is our class” versus, “This is my class.”

If behaviour management is the backbone of your classroom, then relationships are the heart. While it can be tempting to focus all of your energy on behaviour management, forming genuine and authentic relationships with your students is just as important, especially at the beginning of the school year. You can’t have one without the other.