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Monthly Staff PD - February

Hey friends!

It’s February and we’re continuing our year-long exploration of classroom management.

So far in ‘22-23, we’ve covered some important topics:

As I mentioned last month, we’re moving from a focus on structure in the classroom during the first half of the year and centering our conversations on relationships for the second half of the year.

We received some phenomenal feedback last month about the importance of this topic. I’m very encouraged that a lot of you agree that two critical components of classroom management are 1.) structure and 2.) relationships. You can possibly squeak through the year on just one of the two, but many teachers struggle because they need to shore up one or the other.

Structure is more of a science and relationship-building is more of an art, but that doesn’t mean you can’t employ some very practical tools when connecting with kids. And today, we’ll be talking about a few of these strategies in great detail.

Monthly Staff PD - January

Topic: Classroom Management - Building Relationships by Asking the Right Questions

Staff Objectives:

  • I (the teacher) can define school connectedness and explain how it decreases anti-social student behaviors and increases healthy student behaviors

  • I can connect the questions I ask students to the impact that those questions can have on my relationship with those students

  • I can develop a plan to connect with one of my students this week based on specific questions centered on their interests


Every educator has had a handful of students in nearly every class that resist connection. Sometimes this distancing is a defense mechanism based on past experiences - often outside of the student’s control. Other times it’s due to shyness. And sometimes it’s simply apathy.

Whatever the root cause, reaching the hard-to-reach is an essential skill for teachers. If you have teachers on your staff who struggle to connect with certain students consistently, then today’s video is just for them.

In the video, I’ll share a few of my time-tested techniques for connecting with kids quickly and authentically. We’ll also hear from two amazing teachers whom I’ve worked with directly and who have proven their ability to develop resilient relationships:

  • Haydn McLay uses music as a bridge builder and offers tips on how any teacher can do the same

  • Corey Coleman offers her insights based on decades of working with Autistic students and coaching Gen-Ed teachers on how to find success in supporting every kid. Indeed, her recommendations can be used immediately by any teacher with any student.

You’ll find all of the resources below to use this content with your staff right away. And let me just say that this activity is simple, yet powerful. The “peering into the future” aspect of the protocol can really be a game changer, especially for teachers who feel like they’ve reached a stalemate with a particular student. I think your teachers will find it useful.

How to Use this Content:

  1. Open and edit the slideshow linked below as needed. A lot of the research from the video is shared here.

  2. Show the video above. (A YouTube link to the video is also included in the slideshow linked below. You can embed it or link to it anywhere you’d like)

  3. Complete the activity found in the slideshow with your staff

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Hey, Mike Alpert!
Hey, Mike Alpert!