TGIF Newsletter

Together Growing in Friendship

Teacher Spotlight--Keirsten and Wes

Wes Beard and Keirsten Davidson have teamed up to create a fun-filled experience for their TGIF groups.

"Our Scavenger Hunt will span 2 Advisory periods. During the first one, students from my class will be scouring the building, creating questions about Eagle View (and also answering them), for Mr. Beard's class to answer during our next Advisory. His class will be doing the same - creating questions about Eagle View for my class to answer the next time. For example, "How many Exit signs are located in the ceiling of the 2nd floor of Eagle View?" Another question might be, "What color is the candy dish located on Mrs. Whittaker's desk in the office?" Finally, "How many separate windows are there in the cafeteria?" After the first Advisory period, Mr. Beard and I will take the questions our classes came up with, make sure they are fair and answerable, type them up, and then present the Scavenger Hunt to the other class. (My class will answer his questions, his class will answer mine.) First one to finish wins!"

Perspective of a Sixth Grader

" I think Advisory is fun. Last week we got donuts and played board games the entire class. I love board games and play them a lot. I look forward to playing more games and having fun during the coming advisories. Especially when we get a chance to go outside."

TGIF Team Building

One Seventh Grader's Ideas

In advisory it feels like we get to express whatever we want and what we feel is important to say or do. At (the) start it is a little boring, but I hope we get a little more active, more like going outside. Also we got to play fun games, so then I thought that was pretty cool, too! Overall I like having Advisory, it's like a little break from school work and more like a group gathering."

6 Ways to Build Rapport With Your Students

(adapted from

*1. Ask them questions

Getting to know your pupils is key. If you take the time to talk to them, you will be able to build a better understanding of who they are and what their goals are.

*2. Watch them

Maybe a little creepy, but observing your pupils subtly is fascinating.

  • How do they interact with others?
  • What is their reaction to a lack of challenge or to something they find tricky?
  • What motivates them?

Use your observations to inform the type of relationship you build with them.

*3. Tell them about yourself

The pupils need to see that you are a real human, with hobbies and family and pets and mistakes, just like them.

*4. Exert the 3F’s: fair, firm and most of all – fun

Be fair, make sure there is fun, but be firm if attitudes are not as they ought to be.

*5. Help

Let them know you are here to support their learning. Being truly available to them will let them know they are able to rely on you.

*6. Keep it real, man

There is always that one pupil that you feel you might ‘lose’ if you are honest with them, but kids are humans. They have instincts and opinions, and they form first impressions – just like the rest of us do! Once you are honest with them, together, you can find ways to make improvements.

And finally….

Whichever ways you choose to build rapport, it will be you that reaps the benefits too. In the long run, they will become adults who remember you and the connection you formed with them, passing on positive views of school-life to their children too. Win, win!

Thoughts of an Eighth Grader

"When I first heard about TGIF I was excited. From what I was told there would be a mix of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and that there would be opportunities to play fun games and interact with younger students. I really enjoy Advisory it lets me get to know and interact with people I would not normally converse with and the more relaxed setting is nice way to finish off the week and it adds a nice new feeling to middle school. All in all I think Advisory is a great addition to the school schedule and I look forward to it every other week."

Next TGIF session is Thursday, October 4