我们对学生有多了解？ They sit in our classrooms five days a week, we certainly spend lots of time with them, but how well do we really know them? How well do we know their thoughts, their worries, the 事情s 他们 obsess about? And how well do 他们 ever get to know us beyond our role as a teacher?
I’ve been hammering away at the importance of the teacher-student relationship for about as long as 教育学崇拜has been a 事情, but every now 和 then I come across a method or approach 那 can really help build those relationships more effectively.
My friend 丽兹·加拉扎（Liz Galarza）, who teaches middle school 写作 in New York, has been telling me for ages about the dialogue journals she uses with her students 和 how transformational 他们 have been in building relationships. The journals had such a profound impact 那 Galarza made them the focus of her doctoral dissertation.
对话日记是任何一种装订好的笔记本，学生和老师可以在一段时间内相互来回写信。这与Smokey和Elaine Daniels中描述的期刊非常相似’ book, 最好的教学秘诀，但由于Galarza在这些期刊上拥有如此丰富的经验，所以我认为值得再发表一篇文章。
在加拉萨’在课堂上，学生购买他们想要的任何期刊，“只要能够承受一年的来回往返时间，” she says. “他们大多数使用大理石组成的笔记本。我要求他们用图片或引号装饰，这确实表明了他们的个性。”
In the first few days of school, Galarza gets to know her students through intake forms (not included in the journals) where she asks students to tell her five 事情s about themselves 那 she wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at them or their school records. Next, she goes into the journals 和 writes the first entry, starting with a very general welcome, then beginning to connect with students based on 事情s 他们 wrote on their intake forms.
尽管许多老师都是通过让学生撰写第一篇文章来开始这类期刊的，但Galarza还是通过自己创办而获得了更大的成功。“I think the kids who have less confidence when it comes to 写作 would feel paralyzed by 那. So I try 和 make it very, very open.”
In the sample letter below, Galarza connects with this student about her love of 读ing 和 写作, softball, 和 pets. “The first letter I ask more questions than any other time, but I get them to see 那 I’m human. We have commonalities. I’m interested in you. You’re important to me. This is going to be fun.”
曾经的老师’的第一个字母是写的，学生是写回的。在这个样本中，尼克回应加拉扎’的开幕信中，她提到德里克·杰特（Derek Jeter）离开洋基队。“In his intake sheet, every single 事情 he wrote about was about baseball 和 the Yankees,” so Galarza made sure she mentioned 那 in her first letter.
As the school year progresses, the journals go back 和 forth between teacher 和 student. Galarza asks students to write one letter a week, although some students write more often than 那. 关于 once a week, Galarza will ask each class period to hand in their journals, staggering these on different days so she only has one class period per day to respond to. She takes about an hour to respond to a single class set of journals, so if it’在繁忙的季节，她可能只能每两周收集一次，而不是每周一次。
As for grading, students are simply given credit for completion. Even if 他们 不要’t write a lot, 他们 get credit for doing it. And 那’s it. Galarza does not mark 错误 or evaluate the work for any kind of score. Because this journal is about building a relationship, Galarza doesn’希望通过给它分配一个等级来消除它的吸引力。“您对某事的评分越多，” she says, “您为学生提供的帮助越少。”
转移功率差异： 由于对话日记允许学生将他们的老师看作人，因此他们将老师从“all powerful”发挥作用，并在师生之间建立更牢固，更有意义的联系。“As a teacher we always have 那 authoritative stance: We’re the teacher, 和 他们’re the student, 和 他们 know 那,” Galarza explains. “I think the more you use 那 as leverage, the less you’re going to get out of students.”
写作流利度： 当学生在对话日记中写作时，’s no pressure to fulfill an assignment or construct perfect sentences. Students just write. And the more a person writes, the more confident 他们 become 和 the better their 写作 gets. If the teacher can identify topics 那 are important to the student, this can inspire far more 写作 than a student would ever produce for an assignment. Nick, the student above who wrote about Derek Jeter, initially told Galarza he hated to write. After their first exchange about the Yankees, Galarza says the topic stayed with them for the rest of the year, 和 Nick ended up filling more pages than any other student 那 year.
形成性评估： Although the journals are not designed for this purpose, having students write regularly allows the teacher to spot 错误 or weaknesses 那 can inform teaching. “I can use the multiple language 错误 那 I find in many of the journals as a basis for my mini-lessons,” Galarza explains. “So if I see 那 many of my students are not using commas when 他们’re offsetting a list, 那 might become a grammar mini-lesson.”
个性化指令： “You can literally teach them something within the journal without anyone knowing 那 you’re doing it,” Galarza says. “我说过类似的话，‘您知道，您可以在句子中使用分号’…我什至可以强调它。‘You know in this sentence up here? You 不要’t need a period there. You could use a semicolon.’ I’ll just throw in a little grammar instruction as we’re going along only if I think 那 他们 would be receptive to it.”
指导文本： 当老师和学生来回走动时，学生会接教老师’s style of 写作, 和 the teacher’的字母有效地成为指导者的文章。例如，当Galarza回应她的高级作家时，“我可能会使用更复杂的句子结构。我可能会组合句子或使用短语以及更复杂的语言。”她经常注意到学生在自己的回答中使用这些相同的结构。
知识基金： 随着时间的推移与学生保持对话日记可以帮助老师发现学生’独特的知识资金，否则他们可能不了解的专业领域。“我今年有这个学生，他从事动物标本和狩猎，” Galarza says. “我对它非常感兴趣，所以我请他提供有关它的信息，而他确实做到了。喜欢技术。就像它属于一本书。然后他画了照片。” She asked him if he ever thought about 写作 a comic book about hunting or taxidermy, 和 in his response, he considered it:
关系： Ultimately, the most important benefit of the journals is the relationships 他们 build. When students feel 他们 have a trusted adult in school, when 他们 feel 听过 和 seen, 那 makes school a place 他们 want to come to.
“I 不要’t look at teaching the way many people do,” Galarza says. “I know 那 他们 could learn anything 他们 need to learn from their homes with a device on their lap still in their pajamas. They 不要’t need me to learn. They need me to care.” ♦