Building Relationships in the Playground – This article originally appeared in Issue 49 of the UKEd Magazine. Click here to view.
As teachers, it is our responsibility to get to know our students more than just academically, but on a personal and social level as well. Building rapport with students isn’t always simple and doesn’t come easy to many teachers, however, it is essential to the well-being and academic development of all of them.
A playground invites social interaction and encourages students to actively engage with the environment and the people around them. Playgrounds can offer a strong basis for teachers to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with students that are not confined to the four walls of the classroom. As it is our priority as teachers, to educate our students, discussions beyond the classroom don’t occur often. A classroom can often be too overly familiar, boring and even to the point of uninspiring, whereas playgrounds are flexible enough to encourage productive uses, rather than be used in a literal way.
Regardless of the noticeable differences, they are both learning environments, and teachers can use the experience of playground interaction to become more enhanced and likeable figures within their own classrooms. The classroom can become a much happier place if students perceive their teachers as a more approachable and more engaging person. Maintaining those newly built relationships between students and teachers is an embracing and captivating proposition as it nurtures a culture where real learning can take place.
@Mr_Whiteley ICT Teacher – Leeds, UK