Building trust in a classroom happens with an accumulation of small things that give your students reason to believe that you see things from their point of view on a daily basis.
Here is a kindergarten classroom example from a just-retired teacher.
During our playtime I often needed to have children come up to our reading table to work with me individually or in a small group. This is a reality for many teachers and students every day as we are required to do guided reading groups and instructional interventions. If I have to call children away from their art work or building project, I want to make sure they trust that I respect what they have chosen to be involved in.
The simple act of inviting them to bring their projects to the table to “keep them safe while we work” tells children that they can trust you to know what is important to them. As bonuses, the children are much more focused on the work you need to do, and you can take the opportunity to have a brief conversation about the project!
What are some ways that you can connect with children and show them that you can be trusted to stand in their shoes?
You can’t always do what they want, but you can always show that you are trying to understand what they want!