Building Rapport and Engaging Students

Teaching has always been something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. I’d spend hours on my beat up chalkboard in the garage (the chalk was so dirty that we didn’t want it to cause a mess inside), teaching my stuffed animals the basics in reading and writing. I’d write my own book reports (yes, for fun :P) over the summer, re-grade my math worksheets, and read (The Sweet Valley series was my favorite!).

Throughout the years, I’ve dabbled into various studies and professions, but found that my journey has always intertwined with varying modes of teaching and learning. One dream I’ve always had at the top of my bucket list has always been to write a book; and so, I decided to put together the lessons and stories I’ve learned and acquired throughout my years of teaching middle school, high school, college, and adult students.

Yet, why is this title mainly wrapped around building rapport and engagement? I have found that everything in life is built around relationships, and it is essential to prioritize making personal connections and really getting to understand one another on a deeper level. For, what’s the point of living superficial lives where you barely scratch the surface while surrounded by a multitude of diverse and interesting beings?

Even if a particular class took place a decade or so ago, I still remember poignant times with people who I don’t keep in touch with anymore. But their memory still lies so heavily in my heart. I remember the “Carpe Diem” poster my AP English teacher had in her classroom, of a woman leaning in for a kiss. I remember my fourteen-year-old student showing how unbreakable she was after getting a rod surgically put into her back. I remember what a true community felt like when I saw hundreds of students work together to raise awareness on human trafficking. And none of these moments would have taken place had we not gotten to really know one another, encouraged each other to live up to our potential, and taken risks that resulted in triumphant feats.

In my book, I not only share with you some ideas when it comes to teambuilding activities and journal entries to spark class discussions; rather, I share with you the difficult moments in my life (as well as my students’ lives) that pushed us to be better, develop our fortitude, and have a great time learning through it all. I hope you enjoy reading about our journeys together.

You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

Please let me know what you think!

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