I have been thinking about how I have addressed or ignored the items on this list in the past. Here are my musings:
1) Get that respect. After becoming a parent myself I realized the importance of making connections with parents in order to better support and understand my students. I always meant well, before I had my own children, but I think I judged parents a lot. After becoming a parent I realized we're all doing our best and when I made those connections with parents we could work as a team to support children. This changed relationships with students because they knew I had a connection with home.
2) Don't try to change them, try to know them. I opened up my idea of literacy centres last year with a group of grade 2s and put more value on building and math skills in a choice-based centre system. It allowed me see student strengths that were not given an outlet in previous years. A student that struggled with reading was highly spatial. Having successful moments of learning during the day allowed this student to persevere with more challenging work with fewer frustrations.
3) Show up to things sporadically. This connects to #1 for me. Anytime I can build connections outside of class time (family movie nights, open house, fun fair) I find the relationships with my students are stronger.
4) Talk to them. In the business of the day I often feel like I need to pack in more activities, when at the end of the day children just want to be heard. Sharing with the whole class, or checking in on a student after recess can set a positive tone for the week or the period.
5) Humble yourself. I have never felt as humble as I do in my role as Teacher Librarian this year. I don't know every student that walks into the library on a personal level. I have to leave my expectations at the door and observe student learning. I often ask more questions than make statements because I want to know if students need support or assistance. I've found that students know I will listen to them when they're ready to share because I leave space for them to come to me.
6) Celebrate and accentuate the positive. As a TL I really focus on creating a welcoming space. I try to acknowledge every person that walks into the room, although I know I miss some people everyday, because I want them to know that their presence in the library is important and valuable.
Overall, I try to assume positive intentions with parents, staff and students. I think Dr. Phil says, "When we know better, we do better." I try to create a supportive environment that embraces learning and mistakes, provides the chance to grow and change and respects and values our differences as opportunities not as barriers to learning.