Category: Relationship Builders

Integrity Rules

Make sure you are using the language of integrity. The Integrity Time program offers a creative way of teaching this language. If you speak the language of integrity to your students, they will begin to use the language for themselves. Don’t be afraid to use big words such as “appropriate” or “inappropriate”. They will quickly learn as you ask them to evaluate their behavior. Was that an appropriate response? Was that an inappropriate word to use?


by Allyson Willis

Quality Attention

All children want the attention of significant adults in their lives.  As a teacher, you have the opportunity to positively influence your students in many aspects of their lives, not just academically.  The complete health of a child is determined physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally.

Teaching Integrity Time will go a long way in the healthy development of the emotional and social and mental aspects of a child’s life.  But you can also be a role model in the physical health of a child. A great way to promote wellness in your classroom and give your student quality attention is to exercise. This could include something formal such as a regular scheduled exercise activity, or it could be a walk around the classroom in the morning before school, stretching to classical music, or leading the class in a game of Simon … Read More »

Praising Parents

Parents need praise, too. Yes, it’s true, so start your year off right and keep going strong all year long by sending your children’s parents notes of praise. Anything positive you experience from your students’ parents is appropriate to praise.  Examples are:

“I noticed what healthy lunches you pack your child.”
“Thank you for always calling me back so promptly.”
“You always put so much heart into volunteering.”
“As a dad, you are always there to go on field trips. Thank you.  We really need you!”
“You always take time to listen to the children when you come into the classroom.”

You will be surprised at what a powerful connection you will develop with parents when you take a little time to let them know you notice who they are and what they do. This will also increase the respect children have for their parents when they see … Read More »

Pass It On

Solid relationships between teachers and administration ultimately help the student. Offer support to your co-workers by starting the day off with a box of name tags and a Sharpie. Have one staff person write a positive quality of another on the name tag such as “Considerate” and tell that person how you saw them being considerate. Then pass on the box of name tags and Sharpie to that staff person for them to name a positive quality of another staff member. The goal is for each staff member to have a name tag at the end of the day. This exercise will not only be morale building for your staff, but also will be powerful for your students when they see teachers and the administration intentionally naming positive qualities in each other.


by Allyson Willis

Build It

A workplace where you feel connected with your co-workers is so enjoyable. Unfortunately, the days fly by so fast and are so packed there is often little time to really get to know each other so be intentional about building community among your peers. Suggest to your principal to do team-building activities at each faculty meeting. These can be short and yet so valuable for bringing people together.


Some team-building ideas:

Ask everyone what is their favorite meal and why.
Put all staff members’ names in a hat and ask each person to draw a name. Share a quality in that person which you admire, appreciate or from which you have learned.
Have each person tell about a meaningful time they served someone else.
Ask each staff person to share about someone who has been a hero in their life.
Have everyone bring a photo of … Read More »

Name It

Name It is a great intentional activity to help students begin to notice good things about each other. Sometimes children forget the privilege it is to receive an education and sometimes teachers forget it is a privilege to influence a child.


Name It allows teachers and students to name a quality they see in each other and verbalize how they feel about it. For example, “Sue, I noticed how you are so determined when you are practicing reading! That is why you have been scoring so well on your tests. You stick with it until you get it right!” “Mrs. Smith, I saw you give some of your own money to the student who forgot his lunch. That shows you are caring and generous.”


Make sure you and your student are looking each other in the eyes when you name the quality … Read More »

The Thankful Game

Morning routine provides a great opportunity to teach students good life lessons. Try something new in your morning routine such as playing The Thankful Game. You can play with all the students or one at a time. The only rule is that something you are thankful for cannot be repeated by anyone. You simply name things you are thankful for such as “parents, dry place to live in, summer camp, food for dinner, bike to ride, toothbrush, job, health, laughter, school supplies, etc.”.

It is amazing what kind of conversations begin to develop just from spending time together talking about things for which to be thankful. It also helps to promote a lifestyle where children begin to realize how blessed they really are for what they have when sometimes what we tend to focus on is what we do not have.

Accept Feedback from Parents

I have oftentimes received my best ideas and tips from the parents of the students with whom I work. I find it is not always easy to receive feedback from others, but when I decide to be open, the ideas can revolutionize your teaching environment. Parents have a window into the intricate life of their child and their child’s peers.

Learn to value their perspective and your insight into how best to educate their children will increase.

Consider creating some type of system where parents can offer feedback to you whether that be an anonymous suggestion box, e-mail response, written idea form, etc. Be creative in the way you ask for feedback. For example, one teacher sent the list of Integrity Time traits to the parents. She requested they write her a letter when they saw their … Read More »