These questions can be answered by your students, and the answers will aid you in creating positive learning environments for them.
Motivation and resilience are built on a sense of purpose and the belief that you have something valuable to contribute to the lives of others. When these things are going in the right direction, children gain momentum and achieve success. Otherwise, it can result in downward spirals that cause children to fall further behind in their academics, work, community service, and other aspects of their adulthood.
Knowing a few basic facts about each of our students will enable us to be more effective teachers and parents in the future. Students will benefit from these conditions if they can learn, be happy, feel relevant, and be resilient.
Understanding students on a more in-depth level allow us to be more understanding and supportive of their situations. Psychologist and expert in school climates Robert Brooks explains how teachers can increase their empathy by asking themselves “What words would I like my students to use to describe me?”
These questions apply to people of all ages, and they can be tailored to college students if necessary. The responses provide insight into what we need to do to create positive learning environments.
QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ANSWERED IMMEDIATELY
On index cards, you can write down the answers to these questions. Instruct children to write their responses on one side of a piece of paper.
- What can I do to make you feel welcome?
- What kind of greeting do you want to receive?
- What skills and abilities can you bring to the classroom? What is the atmosphere like at the school?
- What is it about school that you are most proud of? What would you like to see changed in this world?
To gather information from students, you can also create a survey. These can be anonymous or made available to the general public. Additionally, you can use a morning meeting format to encourage students to discuss their responses to a variety of questions. After that, they will present their responses to the rest of the class.
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS TO DEEPEN RELATIONSHIPS
During the second and third weeks of school, these questions about settling in can be answered in the same way as the questions about starting school.
- What does it take for you to feel competent? How often do you feel confident in your abilities?
- Do you ever have the impression that you are being heard?
- Do you feel heard and respected when your opinion is taken into consideration?
- Do you ever have the feeling that you are loved and cared for?
- What are your chances of becoming a successful leader?
- What time of day do you feel the most secure or the most unsafe?
- When you’re at school, what makes you laugh the most?
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER DURING THE ENTIRE YEAR
These questions can be used throughout the school year to help students build relationships with one another, improve their reflective skills, and have a positive impact on their overall resilience.
- What can you do to make a difference in the success of the school?
- Who says you can’t be successful?
- What is it about going to school that makes you nervous? Frustrated? Defeated?
- What makes you feel supported and challenged is dependent on your personality.
- What are the things that inspire and motivate you at school?
- Who can assist you in getting back on your feet after a setback?
- Is it possible for you to speak with me at any time?
- When is the most appropriate time to acknowledge that you have made a mistake or that you are unsure of how to do something?
STRENGTHENING RELATIONSHIPS AND BUILDING TRUST
It is not uncommon for students to require several weeks before they have a clear understanding of the answers to their initial questions. They will be able to identify those who believe in their ability to succeed and those who are willing to assist them in regaining their confidence. The first few weeks will show them that you are hard at work to establish yourself as one of those trustworthy and reliable adults in their lives.
We can gain a better understanding of our students and assist them in locating the answers. This will allow them to focus their energy on developing their resilience and learning skills instead.