Tips to Make Better Connections

By Barbranda Lumpkins Walls
Credit: Suzanne Lawrence

The 2020 National Teacher of the Year, Tabatha Rosproy, follows one golden rule when it comes to building connections with the children in her classroom, their families and her grandparent volunteers: Remember that every interaction you have is either a deposit or a withdrawal.

“Never make the first interaction a withdrawal,” Rosproy says. “Make deposits into the savings accounts of your relationships.”

Over the years, Tabatha Rosproy has successfully formed lasting relationships inside and outside of the classroom. It takes some time, but it is well worth it. Here are her tips for creating and maintaining the important connections in your life:

With Children

  • Read with your child. It’s a huge indicator of success in school and an incredible time for parents to connect with their children.
  • Create a routine. Children thrive on routine because they’ll know what to expect. “It helps them feel safe and when they feel safe, they   can  learn.”
  • Get involved in your child’s playtime. “Play and experience are how we solve problems. If you have an active part in your child’s play, you’ll have an active part in their learning.”

With Teachers

  • Be present during child drop-offs/pickups. This also applies to the virtual classroom. Avoid multitasking when your child starts and ends their day. It’s a good moment to make a connection!
  • Ask specific, open-ended questions. Instead of asking the teacher about your child’s behavior, inquire if they were helpful or what your child learned today.
  • Inquire about lesson plans. Ask how you can help your child transfer what they learn to new situations.

Barbranda Lumpkins Walls is a freelance writer and editor in Alexandria, Va.

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