North Star Public Charter School Builds Student-Teacher Relationships
by Andrew Reed, Idaho Education News
EAGLE – Shirley Rau stands at the door way — every day — to greet students as they enter her North Star Public Charter School classroom.
“Good morning…How are you? What are your plans for this weekend?”
She’s making a connection and building trust with her high school students. The effort is paying off. North Star Charter owns some of the best standardized test scores in the state, attendance is high and discipline incidents are low.
“What we are seeing is incredible,” said Shay Davis, the elementary school principal.
North Star Charter staff started a strategic effort three years ago to develop student-teacher relationships.
For example, Melissa Andersen, the secondary principal at North Star Charter, walks the halls every morning, lunch and afternoon asking students fun facts about themselves.
The concept: When the adults spend time and effort to show students they care about their lives and education, the students, in turn, want to spend time in class with the teachers. Attendance improves. Grades go up. “If students aren’t happy they aren’t going to learn,” said Andersen. “Let’s make them feel welcomed and not just another face on campus.”