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Teaching Strategies: Build Solid Relationships with Students

Janelle Cox

Using teaching strategies to build solid relationships with your students is the key to their academic success. If you take the time to bond with each and every student, then it will not only carry over into the academic lives, but their social lives as well. Here a few teaching strategies that you can use to build a solid relationship with your students to ensure that they will be academically (and socially) successful throughout their lives.

Teaching Strategies: Respect Each and Every Student

There is an old saying that goes, “People respect those that respect them.” Respect is a two-way street, you can’t get it unless you give it. You may think that because you are the adult that it automatically means that you should be respected. But if you are an individual that is unkind and has no regard for others, then you cannot expect someone (regardless of their age) to respect you, out of the sheer fact that you are superior in age to them. 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. That is where the next tip to building a solid relationship with your students comes in.

Show Students That You Are Interested in Their Lives

You can show students that you care about them by taking an avid interest in their lives. Many students are facing battles outside of the classroom that you have no idea about. By taking a real interest in each student, and really getting to know them, you can make a huge impact on their life, not only socially but academically as well.

If you have the extra time, show up for their extracurricular events. If you cannot do that, then find out what they enjoy and talk to them about that. If you know that the majority of your students are into a new app that is out, then ask them to explain how it works. Or, if you see that a lot of your students are into sports, than talk to them about that. Take the time to get to know them as a person, not just a student that is there to just learn.

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Acknowledge Their 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.

Let Your Guard Down

It’s OK to laugh, and make jokes, and have fun with your students. Being a teacher doesn’t mean that you have to be all business all the time. It’s OK to let your guard down and make learning fun. Smile and greet each day in a positive manner. A positive, happy attitude will get you much farther in building a solid relationship with your students than a negative, stoic one.

These tips will help you solidify a positive relationship with your students. Show them respect, take an avid interest in each one of them, and let them get to know you as well. Acknowledge their efforts and try to have some fun.

Do you have any teaching strategies that helped you build a solid relationship with your students? Please share your tips and suggestions in the comment section bellow, 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 a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.