A positive relationship between a student and his or her teacher depends on trust and sincerity. On the student’s part, they must be sincerely making an effort to learn and succeed, and on the teacher’s part, they must be sincerely interested in their students. This ideal relationship may not always be possible in schools where teachers have many students, but if the teacher is sincere, he or she can have a huge positive impact on any student that will have a far-reaching effect on that student’s emotional and social life.
It’s normal for teachers to enjoy teaching bright, motivated students, but there are many reasons why some students aren’t motivated, and a good teacher will make the effort to understand and help remove obstacles to motivation. There is no magic that can make a good teacher, but there are some things that can be learned that most good teachers do. For example, open communication and emotional and academic support is essential for good student/teacher relationships.
It’s up to the teacher to open the lines of communication with students and their families. It may help for the teacher to introduce him or herself to the students through an open letter. The teacher can share some personal information and include contact information to encourage the students and their parents to also open lines of communication. Students can also be encouraged to talk about themselves, their likes and dislikes especially as they relate to school.
Students need to feel safe and secure in the classroom. This means there is no intimidation, bullying, insults or over-the-top criticism from other students and, of course, not from the teacher. They need to feel they can depend on their teacher and other classmates. When this atmosphere is prevalent, students do better in their studies. Teachers can foster this atmosphere with rules and regulations in the classroom that are fair and consistently enforced. The teacher doesn’t need to get angry or scold students who break the rules, but he or she needs to make the entire class feel that hurting others, whether physically, emotionally or verbally is unacceptable and unfair.
Just because people are young and still in school, doesn’t mean students can be treated like sheep. Everyone, especially students, wants to be listened to and respected as individuals who have fears and desires.
Nothing destroys a student like consistent failure. Teachers should plan their curriculum each day to allow students to succeed. A good teacher can help a student gain a sense of self-worth and competence that will spread to every aspect of their life. Of course, it may be easier to give a lesson and watch who learns and who doesn’t, but a good teacher will build in a way for each student to learn and succeed, even if it is at different levels. This sense of self-worth will help the student be more open to the advice and suggestions from the teacher and create a good relationship.
A good teacher will know how to use praise effectively. Students can sense if praise is false, and will doubt the veracity of a teacher who isn’t honest. But when praise is deserved, or needed to help a struggling student keep going, it should be given in unstintingly. Students will love a teacher whom they feel genuinely recognizes their good qualities.
In many cases, when a teacher is passionate about his or her subject, students have more chance to becoming interested too. Enthusiasm is contagious, and attracts listeners. To build good relationships, some teachers will go the extra mile to help a student. This means the teacher provides extra tutoring after school or on weekends, they give extra work such as competency-related work, so the student can succeed. If necessary, they communicate with the parents and take a genuine interest in the success of the student. A good teacher may continue to help a student who is no longer in his or her classroom.
To create good relationships with students, teachers should always be positive. They shouldn’t give in to failure but always encourage the student to do better the next time. The teacher needs to convince the student that he or she has the ability to do well. The student will believe that the teacher has confidence in him or her. Good teachers who are loved by their students only correct and discipline in constructive ways. This means the students will reflect on their behavior and feel sorry for what they did. This is much more valuable than force and opposition.
Teachers are in the unique position of being able to have a positive impact on young individuals before those individuals completely form their opinions about life and about themselves. When a student believes in and trusts a teacher, they have a much higher chance of success in their education as well as their emotional and social life.
By Andre Bradley