As teachers, we are all working hard to establish that all important teacher/student relationship that is paramount when trying to engage students in learning and growing.
One way I establish that bond is creating a special atmosphere during a weekly lunchtime setting. Sharing a meal and eating together is a strong primal bond for human beings.
Teachers who find time during the week to eat in the cafeteria with their students or who arrange a lunch with a small group of students are given the chance to learn a great deal about their students in this type of social setting. Students feel more relaxed in this type of setting than in the classroom in a desk. They will share more about themselves and their world both at school and away from it.
For students the cafeteria is a location within the school building where the usual rules don’t apply. You don’t have to raise your hand to speak, you can talk to friends, you can laugh, a lot!
Read Breaking Bread: Lunch Bonding with Students