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Connecting with Builders Club members

Builders Club members are exploring their independence. As an advisor, you’re a key figure—an adult role model and mentor. Here are five ways to lay the foundation for a meaningful relationship with members:
  1. Learn and use their names. When you address someone by name, you show that person respect. Show members that they’re important by taking the time to learn and use their names.
  2. Celebrate individuality. Middle school students are trying to figure out who they are and what place they have in the world. They might be exploring ways to dress, act and talk. Embrace their individuality and uniqueness, rather than judging or stereotyping.
  3. Share a little about yourself. Take time to tell personal stories or share some of your interests and hobbies. The more comfortable your students are with you, the more relaxed and receptive they will be.
  4. Take an interest in their lives. Learn a little about each member. Find out some of their hobbies, what kind of music they like and what they do in their spare time.
  5. Smile. Young people rely heavily on nonverbal communication and watch those around them for nonverbal cues. When you give anyone a smile, it’s welcoming and inviting—especially for someone of middle-school age.