Building a relationship with students is vital in creating the ideal learning environment. In this article we'll discuss the reasons why and how!
Communicating properly with each student determines the dynamic of the relationship. If, as a teacher, I continuously try to display a position of superiority and speak to them in a condescending manner then I'd lose the trust of my students - another important point that will come later in the article. This would result in them being less inclined to take part in the lesson, listen when I teach or answer my questions when I ask, ruining the lesson entirely.
Instead if I speak to my students in a more casual manner, then they become more relaxed entirely. Meaning they would be more active during my classes, increasing their understanding of the topic being taught much more. Of course, I am still the teacher and can be strict when I need to but choose to display that more wisely. Since that trust has been established, they're more willing to listen to the things I have to say and take on any advice that I give.
The trust that a student has with their teacher is something that the teacher themselves need to actively work on first. Communication being an avenue, once a student can trust a teacher then they are more willing to show their mistakes or say they don't understand a topic knowing they wouldn't receive any backlash for it. Only then can the teacher get to know the full scope of each students capabilities and adapt their teaching accordingly.
Trust can be built by showing that I care about their education and their future. Before getting to know them, I encourage them to get to know me. I tell them about my academic background, talk about how when I was in school there were things that I didn't understand and how I found certain ways around each task. I don't try to depict myself as a genius that never found anything difficult because that's not relatable. Relatability is everything when building trust. If they can see that I was them just a few years back, then they'd be more prepared to lend their trust. Allowing me to guide them properly through academia and their future careers.
Invest the time
I put in a lot of time to building a relationship with each of my students, and that investment always shows itself to be worthwhile. Some students start with me completely disliking a subject, and throughout the year I can see them improve and changing their overall mindset on the subject as a whole. Now a lot of them come into my class willing to spend another 2 hours learning even though they've been at school all day/week.
I incorporate all 3 tips in every lesson of mine and the results have been outstanding. As a teacher I'm always proud to hear my students say they enjoy my classes, it shows that as an educator I'm doing my job!