Building Authentic Student-Teacher Relationships
As a teacher, your role does not end with taking lessons and assigning homework. You have to get involved in your students’ lives, know each one of them, and build genuine relationships with them.
Building authentic relationships is hard work and you have to invest time and energy into it. But the rewards will be worth the effort.
Developing positive, respectful relationships with your students from the very first day of the school year will not just create a better learning environment but also boost the academic performance of your class.
Here are a few tips to help you build authentic relationships with your students:
● Have a Positive attitude and be an Enthusiastic and Passionate teacher
It is normal to have bad days and teachers are only human. But being sullen, angry, or moody in the classroom will affect your relationship with your students. On the other hand, if you have a positive attitude, your students will also be positive and open to learning.
Be enthusiastic about the topics you are teaching and let that enthusiasm show. Have fun
activities as part of your lesson plan. You could even try to incorporate your students’ interests into your teaching. For instance, if you are teaching a Botany lesson about flowers and your students are interested in photography, you could have an activity where students take pictures of different flowers to present and discuss in class.
When your students enjoy your teaching, they will trust you and be more open with you.
● Treat your students with respect, even while correcting them
It is natural for your students to make mistakes, fight, or display bad behaviour in the classroom. Your response to such situations will determine whether the students walk away resenting you or resolving to not repeat their mistake.
Treat your students with respect, even when you are disciplining them. Do not yell at them in front of the classroom, humiliate them, or make sarcastic comments. Doing so could be counterproductive and may even lead to further bad behaviour.
Instead, talk to them on the same level, preferably in private. Review what happened, ask them to reason out -why they did, what they did, urge them to reflect on their behaviour. This does not mean there should not be any consequences for their actions.
There should be a fair, meaningful consequence but the discussion should happen in a way that the student is not left feeling humiliated and resentful.
● Show interest in their life outside school
Your objective as a teacher is for your students to grow into knowledgeable, emotionally and socially well-adjusted, wholesome individuals. To achieve this, you may sometimes have to go beyond the walls of the classroom and find out more about your students’ personal lives to mold them in the right direction.
They may be having problems at home or at school. A student may be going through a difficult divorce at home or he or she could be insecure about their body image. In such situations, you should be the adult figure who helps them to navigate through these challenges.
Tell your students that they can approach you about anything. Develop a mechanism for this. For example, you could set aside one evening after class every week and tell your students that they can approach to you about anything, even about things outside of school.