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The Importance of Patience in the Classroom

Deonte Bridges  |  July 06, 2021
You can’t force building relationships – they take time. Sometimes you just have to sit back and trust the process. It’s not something you can rush, and it really is worth the wait. One of the easiest things you can do is to make yourself available. Relationships flourish at different rates. You might be able to build relationships with one group of students more quickly than another.

Be intentional about making yourself available and carve out time to get to know your students. Ask them questions and learn what they like. Students love it when you remember the things they’re passionate about. Sometimes you have to step away from the curriculum, away from the textbooks, and have a conversation with them. My messages often resonate with my students and they always come back and tell me they appreciate what I’ve told them. That’s what it’s all about.

If you continue to do right by your students, have their best interest at heart, remain genuine, make yourself available, and be patient, strong relationships will follow. Those are a few ingredients that will set them up to be successful and you’ll build those relationships.

I can’t stress enough how important patience is. During my first year as a teacher, I struggled with it. I eventually learned not to take their behaviors personally. Some kids go through so much and sometimes they show up and you have to be on the receiving end of a bad day. They wake up and bring what they’re going through to school, just like we do. A lot of times they don’t know how to respond to what they go through.

In those moments, you have to understand that it’s bigger than you and bigger than that child in that moment. You have to find creative ways to communicate when that happens. Be patient in how you interact with them but also how you talk to them. If you can talk to them without it feeling like a fight, it shows them they can trust you.
In the beginning, it’s a struggle to not be combative. Students don’t always realize you’re a human, too, and it can feel like student vs. teacher. It goes deeper than building relationships with students. They also have relationships with each other. While we might not all be friends, we’re in the same class, the same family, and the same community.

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