If you went down memory lane for a quick second, back to your elementary school years, why would you say you used to put more effort in classwork that involved one teacher in particular? What made their class special? What was it about them that did the trick, helping you both academically and socially?
Generally speaking, most teachers would agree that teacher-student relationships are not quite the happy match, but on the flip side there’s nothing like listening to a parent telling everyone how much their kids love their class teacher and enjoy their lessons.
So, how can we build better, healthier teacher-student relationships? Here’s comes a checklist… Start ticking your favorite!
– Structure learning. Classroom management and setup is key. Without it, you’d lose valuable teaching time.
– Be an active listener and support them in their tasks.
– Practice empathy and build trust. Create a safe, warm, inviting and supportive environment for them to bloom.
– Nurture creativity and challenge students with authentic, interesting work.
– Give meaningful, sandwich feedback. Keep it simple but on target. Skill wise, “great job” or “excellent” don’t tell learners much.
– Show them you’re genuinely interested in them. Listen what’s on their minds.
– Do not play favorites. Undue attention isolates. Keep your teaching style bias-free.
– Give students a voice. Value their ideas and overall input, the same way you’d like them to value yours.
– Show interest in their lives outside of school. Then, use their interests to your advantage.
– Involve the parents. Straight up, from day 1. But make sure you model and outline your expectations.
– Go the extra mile. Make more effort than what is expected of you. By no means end up dragging yourself to school every day, but be willing to make that extra-special effort to achieve your goals in the classroom.
Making a connection to your students is not an easy task. Start small but aim high. Sometimes small connections go a long way and have a major impact. But above all, walk your talk. It’s a work in progress, it won’t happen overnight; and it’s not meant to, after all.