I think a lot about how to better make connections with my students. I have a very large class--26 Kindergarteners. When I pick them up in the morning, the first thing they want to do is share something with me, especially after a weekend. I usually don't take the time that I should to listen to each of them, we do have morning work to do and reminders to make about folders, etc. I read somewhere the other day, probably a Twitter post, that you should take 2 minutes to have an actual conversation with each student every day. I really, really try to do just that.
I also try to incorporate their interests into our lessons and the books I choose for their read-alouds. One thing I like to do every year is to share with them the first books I ever learned to read. My sister and I both started reading at about 2 1/2 years old (I credit Sesame Street for that-my mom says that I would cry if I couldn't watch it the twice a day it was on, even if it was a rerun!). The first book I ever read by myself was:
I actually found a used copy of it-thank goodness for Amazon and their booksellers!
And then Jonathan Bloom's Room was one my mom said I liked to read over and over again.
It's so funny to share them with my kiddos because they do not think of you as a real person! You have a mom!?! Does she make you lunch?
They crack me up. But I want them to know I was once in their shoes and reading books like they are reading. Someday maybe they will even share books we read together with their children!