The start of the school year is the best time to establish a foundation of strong teacher-student relationships in your classroom. When students feel seen and known, it helps them to build a stronger sense of self and to show up to class more motivated and ready to learn. And, when teachers and students start to get to know each other as people, it just makes the classroom a more enjoyable place for everyone! Along was purpose-built to do just that!
Make the reflection process routine for you and students by following the same steps on repeat! We call it the Teacher Reflection Loop.
- Choose a question. Take a look at the Along content library and pick a question that feels relevant. Or, you can write your own.
- Share your own reflection with students. Record your own response to the question and send it to your students on Along. This will encourage students to get to know you and to share a reflection back.
- Review student responses. Look at how your students respond back to the question to gain insights about individuals, and your class as a whole.
- Respond to students with a quick comment. A short message acknowledging you reviewed a student response shows that you care, and builds your connection and trust with your students.
- Synthesize what you learned and follow up. You may have noticed some trends in your students’ responses. Follow up with a related reflection question to a few, or multiple students—or choose a classroom activity from the Along library.
Some other things to keep in mind — authentic connections only happen when you express yourself with genuine interest and curiosity. When you show excitement about what you are sharing, your students will be more likely to respond.
And also remember, everyone communicates differently and at their own speed. You may have students who don’t feel comfortable responding to you right away, however they may still be viewing your reflections and just need a little time to respond back. A little patience goes a long way.