Classroom Management

How to Have More Meaningful Student Conversations Starting Today!

Has this ever happened to you? You’re speeding through another art class: managing behaviors, helping with spills, prepping supplies, and getting students ready to go out the door. Before you know it, art class is over and you realize you haven’t taken the time to have a quality conversation with even one student.

Conversations can be one of the most telling ways to learn about your students’ lives both in and out of school. Setting aside intentional time for conversation is key!

students working

Here are 5 ways to add more quality
conversations into your day.


1. Pick one table to sit at each week, in all of your classes.

Consider it your home base. You will be amazed at how much students will open up when you sit at their level.

2. Think about appropriate questions in advance.

What kinds of questions would get students thinking in new ways? What kinds of questions could act as a formative assessment?

3. Don’t come empty handed.

Bring your seating chart or grade book with you. Make notes about student work you see. These notes will be valuable in so many ways.

4. Don’t forget to keep it light.

Ask students about their day, what’s happening in their other classes, or even about their hobbies. These types of questions build trust and rapport.

5. Enjoy the conversation!

Laugh together. Be amazed at their perspectives. Share some of yours.

Each week, choose a new table at which to sit. Your students will love it and you will learn so much!

How do you make sure to have meaningful connections with students?


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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