Pairing, or building a positive relationship, with your students is a vital step in developing instructional control and setting your student and yourself up for an effective year. Here are tips to help you set yourself and your students up for a successful year.
What Is Pairing?
Pairing is a fancy word for building a positive relationship with the student. The point is to associate yourself with all of the reinforcers and activities that the student naturally wants. You are the doorway to get those things. For example, if I have 2 cupboards and one holds bills and the other cupboard holds your favorite drink and chocolate, which one are you going to want to open? Your job is to be that 2nd cupboard for your students through targeted interactions.
Pairing is not just letting your students play all day to keep them from having meltdowns. Pairing is active… it’s purposful. You are making the activity or toy even better by being part of it.
The concept of pairing or building a relationship with your students has been around since the beginning of schools. All students do better when they feel connected to the teacher and classroom. Students with disabilities engage in less behaviors and spend more time on task and learning when they know you are the doorway to all of their favorite things. Pairing with a student leads to better instructional control.
How To Pair
- A new student comes into your classroom
- Behaviors have started to spike during your work sessions. There are many reasons why you might have to re-pair with a student.
- The student is becoming resistant to working with you…. time to remind the student of all of those reinforcers that you can help him get. Kibosh negative patterns!