By Teachers, For Teachers
Building quality relationships with your students is an essential component to their academic success. When you take the time to use classroom management to bond with your students, it will not only carry over into their academic lives, but into their social lives as well. For many teachers, the idea of using classroom management to create high-quality relationships with their students sounds great in theory, but to actually find the time to be able to execute it is another story. Elementary teachers have the opportunity to build a rapport with their students because they have the same 20 students every single day. However, middle school and high school teachers have about 100 students in and out of their classroom every day, so taking the time to build a quality relationship can be quite tough. In order to use classroom management to build solid connections with your students, which will ensure they will be academically and socially successful throughout their lives, you need to take time, but not as much time as you may think. Here’s how.
The first thing that you can do is to take interest in them. Sounds simple enough, right? You may be thinking, “How I can take interest in 100 students?”, but you can. You can start by standing outside of your classroom door and greeting your students as they walk into your classroom. Say “Hello, how are you today?”, give them a handshake, high five or a fist bump, and ask them what’s new in their lives. Just by taking these few seconds at your door, you can help to create a solid bond. One of your students may be having a bad day, and by saying hello and asking them how they are can help to change that. You set the tone for how your classroom will be. If you start each class with a friendly greeting at the door, then you know that you have just set the tone for a great day.
Take the time to stand by your door in between classes too. These two to three minutes that the students spend walking to and from their other classes will give you some time to get to know your students better. Maybe someone is struggling at home or in school and needs a person to talk to. You can be that individual just by being visible, friendly, and taking an interest in them.
Many of your students are talented and involved in sports, band, chorus, etc. Take an interest and go to the after school games and concerts. When the students see you there, they will know that you care and are interested in them. If you have a family, then make it a family affair and bring them along. Or, just show up long enough that the students see that you are there. When you are visible and show interest, then the students will see that they are not just another person in the crowd, and that you actually care about all of them.
An effective way to get to know your students and help you build strong, high-quality relationships is to just listen to them. All young children want is to be heard, and when you can give them that opportunity, it will bring you closer. Open your classroom up and let it be known that you are always there to listen (never judge). Tell students that they can drop by before and after school, in between classes, or when you have a break. Listening does not take much on your part, it just takes a few extra minutes out of your day to just sit and listen to what the student has to say. Sometimes the students just want someone that will sit there and listen without trying to solve their problems or give them their opinion. You can be that person for them.
One of the easiest ways that you can build quality relationships with your students is to just show them respect. Oftentimes, adults feel that the students are the only ones that should be showing the respect, but in actuality, in order to get respect you have to show respect -- it is a two-way street. If you are a person that is unfriendly and unkind to others, then you cannot expect for your students to treat you with respect. By showing your students that you have admiration for them, you will help bridge the gap and build a stronger relationship with them.
To help solidify positive relationships with your students, take an interest in them, be visible and listen, and most importantly, show them respect. When you can do these three things, you can ensure that you will have a high quality relationship.
Do you have any classroom management tips that helped you build a quality relationship with your students? Please share your tips and suggestions in the comment section below, we would love to hear what you have to say.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds master's of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Skyword. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.