Laura McBain, K12 Lab Director of Community and Implementation, speaks about the importance of connecting early with students on a deep and meaningful level in order to build a foundation of trust for learning.
[MUSIC PLAYING] As a first year teacher here, Oh, so long ago as a project based teacher and I’ve been teaching for a number of years. I was worried to be honest with you about how I could make this change to this progressive deeper learning type teacher.
And because I knew a lot of content, I knew how to get kids in groups and I remember the first two weeks of school, I had great advice from a colleague of ours that he said the kids got to know that you love them. And so we spent two weeks just doing team builders, games, ways of getting to know each other with circles and really creating identity.
And I think the presence piece was that I had to show up. I was no longer just a teacher. I was a facilitator. I was a caregiver. I was their friend. I was their leader and so for me the presence was not just like wow, I’m here, we are all present in this moment and we are complex.
We have pieces to our identity and what for me, when I noticed that if we can do that in schools for [? their selves, ?] there’s this great opportunity to do it with kids and it takes time and we have to put structure to it, which means community circles, having conversations and getting to know students in a way that’s beyond just what did you read last night. But tell me about your day.
How are you feeling? How was your night? What’s going on with you? And being present in students’ lives in all aspects of their lives, allows you to do great work. And I think for me just having those moments initially with kids really transform how I approach them and how we were able to do great work together.