A large part of being an influential teacher is developing
a relationship with the students you are teaching. Every child is
different and groups of students can react differently to your teaching
styles. It is for this reason that I feel teachers have to know their students. We have to know the things they are interested in, their various learning styles, and who they work well with.
A student does not live in a vacuum. They are dynamic and they are constantly changing. If I don't have a sense of who they are as individuals, how will I know how to reach them academically?
There are many opportunities to get to know students while still acting as a professional in a school setting. One example is the Harlem Globetrotters visiting Winchell Elementary. Through this experience, I was able to see which of my students were interested in basketball and other sports. Other activities such as class parties and school read-ins will help to shape the personality of my classroom. Really knowing my students is part of what makes teaching fun!