By University of Phoenix
It takes a great deal of knowledge, understanding and skill to be a successful educator. Many educators invest their time in obtaining the right qualifications and learning the various educational theories available to become a great one. Some may even take the time to hone the qualities that make a good teacher.
A number of beneficial online degrees can help teachers acquire skills and knowledge that will lead them toward becoming great educators. One such skill — developing healthy relationships with students — can be an important priority. Strong teacher–student relationships are invaluable to the learning process and can provide deeper insight into effective teaching strategies for different types of learners.
Positive teacher–student relationships greatly impact a successful learning experience. They can improve student self-confidence, academic performance and mutual respect between the two parties.
A positive relationship often has open communication where teachers actively listen to their students and encouragingly provide feedback and guidance. Positive relationships also let students feel secure so they can speak up in class and reach out when needed. All these results in more-engaged learners who are willing to take risks while exploring new ideas.
Ultimately, these relationships help foster an environment of trust where learning can occur without fear, judgment or failure.
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Every student is different, but the following strategies can foster strong teacher–student relationships in most classrooms.
As a teacher, showing enthusiasm and passion for your subject is essential. Not only will this help you engage with students, but it is also vital for fostering an atmosphere of learning and exploration. Enthusiasm motivates students to learn, while passion shows them how the lessons have relevance and purpose.
A few ways to show enthusiasm in the classroom are to:
By meeting your students where they are and adapting your curriculum to reflect their interests, you can create an environment of motivation in the classroom. Seeing your students’ enthusiasm is one of the many benefits you can expect as a teacher.
It’s essential to treat each student with respect and recognize their individual needs. This means being patient, understanding and open to hearing different perspectives. Respectful teacher–student relationships are based on trust and communication — both involve actively listening to students as they share their thoughts and feelings while providing ample opportunity to voice concerns or feedback.
When students feel respected and heard, it can transform their relationship with school. It can dramatically improve their school experience, including reducing the number of suspensions and drop-out rates. They are also more likely to participate in class discussions, take risks exploring new concepts and be open to feedback. This can also lead to a stronger bond that benefits teachers and students alike.
To show respect and create a welcoming classroom :
Rewarding good behavior and achievements is a great way to encourage learning and build strong relationships. It can also be a more effective way of reinforcing positive behaviors when compared to simply punishing the bad.
By drawing attention to what students are doing right and praising their successes, teachers can create an environment where students feel valued and supported, as well as motivated to continue striving for success. Students can then also recognize their progress and build a sense of accomplishment. A few ways to reward good behavior are:
With support from inside and outside the classroom, students can feel empowered and motivated to reach their goals.
Getting to know your students on a deeper level lets you tailor your teaching methods and activities to fit their individual needs — and build stronger relationships in the process.
To get started, try having regular one-on-one conversations with students or hosting group activities that encourage collaboration and discussion. Additionally, you can invite students to share aspects of their personal lives, such as hobbies, passions or family stories. Relating to any of their experiences can help your students feel more comfortable and connected while underscoring your commitment to their success.
Building relationships with students shouldn’t be limited to classroom instruction. Many students need a teacher who is willing to listen and give support they need. While it’s hard to fit every student into your busy schedule, making time for one-on-one communication is necessary. This could include:
It may not sound like much, but these actions can make a huge difference in building a strong bond and fostering communication. Even taking this approach with small groups of two or three students can help you get to know them personally and build trust.
Providing students autonomy and the freedom to make their own choices can help them develop vital problem-solving skills. It can also help instill a sense of responsibility, ownership and independence in your students.
To create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable making decisions, try the following:
Inviting students to voice their opinions and take ownership of their learning allows them to take an active role in their education.
Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process, so acknowledging them and using them as an opportunity to grow can help students gain confidence. When teachers and students make mistakes, it’s best to approach them with understanding. This could involve:
Seeing mistakes as opportunities for growth can help your students develop resilience and hone their problem-solving skills.
Students may have valid suggestions or critiques of your teaching methods and activities. Showing that you value their input can help them feel more heard and engaged in the learning process.
Encourage students to provide honest feedback through:
A student’s voice is a powerful tool that can help shape the learning environment for the better, especially when the feedback is honestly offered and openly received. As a teacher, you don’t have to give credence to every idea offered, but you do have to approach each idea with an open mind and a willingness to change.
Leading by example is one of the most important ways to build relationships with students. Show your students you care about their success and well-being by:
While not every moment of teacher leadership will be successful or enjoyable, leading by example can help students understand the importance of positive behavior.
A simple “good morning” or “have a great day” can go a long way. Taking the time to greet your students daily can help create an atmosphere of warmth, respect and friendship in the classroom. Sometimes kids need to know someone cares.
Greeting your students each day could involve:
These small but meaningful gestures can make a big difference in how your students feel about themselves and their learning experience.
Building relationships with students is vital for creating a supportive classroom environment.
So, take the time to get to know your students, listen to what they have to say and be open to learning from them as much as possible. The result may just be a successful classroom and lifelong learning mindset for teacher and student alike.
Whether you are taking the first step in your journey toward a career in education or looking to expand your existing knowledge and skill set, University of Phoenix offers a variety of degree and certificate options. These include:
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