The bond between student and teacher is very important in the world of education. However, many of these bond are perceived by students to be belittling. Respect is a very important part of this. There is a quote “expect respect”, and I agree with this but only to a level. Respect for rank is expected, but respect of person is earned. This applies directly to student teacher rapport. Students should automatically respect teachers because they are teachers, and teachers should respect students. However, both parties should strive to be respected on the personal level as well. As this respect builds, the student and teacher will get closer and make each other better.
Personally, I like going to school. Seeing my friends and learning new things is fun for me. However, it is hard to have fun in a class in which I feel I am being talked down to. I learn best when the teacher is relatable and talks to me almost how they would talk to a friend. Look at this from a sports perspective. If there was a field that is highly elevated at one end and very low on the other, no one would want to play there. But if there was a level field, everyone would like it and would be more likely to play there. This applies to teachers and students too. If the teacher talks down to the students, the personal respect will not grow. However, if they treat students like they are on the same plane as the students, they will be more respected and liked by the students.
This is not an easy task. It takes a lot of work and commitment from both the teachers. However, most of the time the teacher makes the first move to make the connection. Getting to know the students is the biggest ally when it comes to rapport building. There are many ways to do this.
1. Small Talk: Talk to students in a casual manner to get to know them. Small discussions about interests can go a long way. Do not pry too much in to social life and personal aspects of their lives at first. Once the trust builds, they will consider the teacher someone that they can talk too. Have discussions like these regularly and informally to create the bond.
2. Humor: Humans have a natural attraction to humor. Incorporating jokes and puns into lessons will not only increase student interest, but it will also make students like the teacher even more. Easygoing humor is very important in building a relationship with students.
3. Professional Development: It is hard to find an innovative idea to get to know students at the beginning of the year. However, a well planned activity can start building that respect right from the beginning. For example, use debate based on the good and bad things of school and participate alongside the students. This will allow them to see that the teacher is open and respectable.
4. Talk on the same plane: While having conversations with students or teaching, talk like the students are friends, not subjects. Many teachers like the idea of this, but are scared that the students will see it as weakness and think it is okay to misbehave. However, if the teacher remains in control, this method will have kids respecting teachers as they respect their friends.
5. Discipline: Discipline is often looked over in the bonds of students and teachers. Some teachers worry that their students will take it too far when they talk like a friend. If a student does take advantage, pull the student aside and have a friendly chat that is not threatening, but spells out how the teacher feels and what will happen if the student keeps misbehaving. It is very important to go about this in a way that is not aggressive, but lets the student know that the teacher is still in command. Discipline needs to be both friendly and to the point.
6. Choice: This is especially important when it comes to books and writing. Students know that some things are required but like the opportunity to choose their own topics when possible. It gives the kids new interest in the material while showing that the teacher cares about the interests of the students.
7. Student input: Taking ideas from students and incorporating them into the class shows that the teacher respects the opinions of the students. This is a great way to engage students as well as build bonds.
These strategies will help build the personal respect between student and teacher that is necessary to have good rapport. Also, personal flare is important. These strategies should be spun so the teacher’s personal flare shows.
Although it takes some work, developing mutual respect between the student and teacher is very important and beneficial. “The ability to work effectively and creatively with team members and classmates…” (21st Century Skills, 2009). Respect between student and teacher leads to more productive work in teams and individuals. “I sit down in a chair and begin to talk about all the things I am reading right now – everything from magazines and newspapers to professional books, young adult literature, nonfiction bestsellers, college textbooks, and ‘beach reads’.” (Middle School Readers, 2009). This shows how the teacher makes the lesson personal, which makes it more interesting to the students while gaining their respect. The mutual respect between student and teacher is very important and allows for a more productive environment.
Trilling, Bernie, and Charles Fadel. 21. Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our times. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Print.
Allison, Nancy. Middle School Readers: Helping Them Read Widely, Helping Them Read Well. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2009. Print