The Bow Tie Boys

The Bow Tie Boys

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Building Good Relationships with Students

Almost everyone has been in a group with a member that has a weird grudge toward you. Working with that person could make you feel uneasy and uncomfortable. As a result, the productivity of the group goes down, just because one group member has a grudge.

Now, translate this story into the classroom. There is almost always at least one kid in every class that just doesn't have respect for the teacher nor the class. They are the ones who are constantly disrupting learning, and slowing down the class. In some classes, there might be several of these kids, that just bog down the class in constant interruptions and distractions. In many cases, disruptive kids can definitely be a good student in ones class. One reason why kids may become disruptive comes down to rapport.

I have a teacher that has a positive relationship with almost every student in my class. I would be hard pressed to find a student in this class that didn't bond to my teacher. I have several hypothesizes for why this is the case. The first reason might be that he almost always takes the students opinion on matters into account. This makes us feel that we actually have an important role in our class. A second reason is that he actively knows what is going on outside school. He talks to us about our sports and other extra-curricular activities, in an interested, but not inappropriate manner. A third possible reason is that he talks to us as people, not as his subordinates. He will constantly have a normal conversation with students, while still tying everything back to the subject matter. These three reasons have stuck out to me as reasons I feel that I can connect to this teacher. These might not be the only three reasons, but they seemed to me as the most important.

The importance of building positive rapport is so great it can make or break a class. Knowing students, not just as a grade, or a face, but as a personality, or a back story, can further the effectiveness and efficiency of a classroom. In the words of Penny Kittle, "If I don’t know the kids before me, I don’t have a chance"(Write Beside Them, 2008). A teacher has to know their students as a person in order to have classroom success. In addition to knowing the students, the teacher has to treat them with trust and respect. If students feel equal to the teacher in the classroom, that respect will be two way between the student and teacher. Linda Rief wrote, "Trusting and respecting our students may be the best models we provide for them in creating culturally healthy environments in our schools"(Seeking Diversity, 1992). Having this two way trust in the classroom can propel learning as the students trusts the teacher to do their job well and the teacher trusts the students to be hardworking and efficient.

To build this good relationship, the main thing a teacher has to do is truly know the students. Talking to students about normal matters can make the students feel that teachers are much more than just teachers. Treating students as equals can help them feel more connected to the teacher, and respect their judgement more and more. Treating students with respect can cause respect back to the teacher. Talking to students about their more personal matters, and getting to know them as people, can make students feel that they are actually treated fairly and that they are treated in a manner as an equal. Doing this can propel classroom efficiency and learning.

Works Cited:

Kittle, Penny. Write beside Them: Risk, Voice, and Clarity in High School Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2008. Print.

Rief, Linda. Seeking Diversity: Language Arts with Adolescents. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational, 1992. Print.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this important message Joe. Yes, relationships will either enrich or diminish everything we do. We simply cannot minimize the tremendous role it plays so I'm really happy to see this post!