It is very important for teachers to have positive and solid relationships with their students because that is one of the surest ways to ensure that the actual teaching and learning process really takes place. Observe a teacher who is beloved by his/her students and you will see how well the students will perform in in the subjects taught by such teachers. But the reverse is the case for teachers who are unfriendly, feared and avoided by students. Therefore, if you are a teacher reading this piece right now do take your time to note the points below; especially if you’ve been mean to your students in the past.
THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS BUILDING POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR STUDENTS IS TO RESPECT THEM
The saying that “People respect those that respect them” speaks volumes right now. Indeed, respect is a two-way street; you can’t get it unless you give it. You may think that because you are the adult you automatically deserve all the respect from your students while giving none. But it doesn’t work this way. And that is why it is imperative that you respect all of your students. While it may be hard for you to do for some of them, you have to remember that you do not know where your students come from or the battles that they face in their home life.
BE GENUINELY INTERESTED IN YOUR STUDENTS
There is no better way to win over the hearts of people than by being genuinely interested in them. Show your students that you care about them and they will simply love you to bits. Considering how many students are facing battles outside of the classroom that you have no idea about, drawing closer to them and perhaps offering words of advice will go a long way in helping them cope. This will ultimately formulate a friendship between you which may last even after they have left the school. One of my favourite human beings in the world is a teacher who taught me English language while I was in S.S.1. It’s been years since and we still remain best friends…
ACKNOWLEDGE AND APPRECIATE YOUR STUDENTS EFFORTS
Building a strong, healthy student-teacher relationship means that you need to acknowledge their efforts. Everyone likes to be recognized for their effort: It means that you are being seen and appreciated for the time that you spent, and the effort that they put forth. Students want to know that you are watching them and seeing the effort that they have put forth. An easy way to help build a great bond with students is to just literally pat them on the back and say an encouraging word. This simple, positive touch is an easy gesture that can go a long way.
LET STUDENTS GET TO KNOW YOU BETTER
Just as it’s important for you to take the time to get to know your students better, it’s just as important for you to let your students get to know you better. Share stories from your life and let the students into your world. Talk about your adventures in school when you were a child, and tell them about what your life is like now, outside of the classroom. A lot of the time your students have this misguided perception of you as a superhero that can do no wrong, or as a person whose whole life is revolved around teaching. Let them get to know you better and they will soon see you as a real person, not just a teacher.