By Hal Urban
I was a social studies teacher in a public high school for 36 years. I loved every minute of it! Well, at least almost every minute. In all honesty, my teaching career started out wonderfully, and got better each year. I’m convinced that the key was good relationships. I was taught on my first day of graduate school in education that, “If you can reach ‘em, you can teach ‘em.” Starting with my student teaching, I put a lot energy into reaching my students, of making that all-important personal connection with them.
My #1 goal at the beginning of each school year was to create a Caring Community in each of my five classes. The reason was simple, and really nothing more than common sense. If the teacher has a relationship of mutual respect with his students, and the students have a relationship of mutual respect with each other, a lot more teaching and learning will go on. And there will be very few behavior disruptions.