Will students work harder if they have a positive relationship with their teacher? Think about it! Who do you work harder for, a boss you like or a boss that does not seem to care about you? Many times we forget how impressionable students are and how easy it can be to become a positive influence on them. Teachers change lives and that is a great responsibility. “The most powerful weapon available to secondary teachers who want to foster a favorable learning climate is a positive relationship with our students’ (p. 6)
The author suggest that having a positive relationship is about being proactive, meeting the children where they are most available. This means looking past our own value of what is important and look at their strengths and see the value through their eyes. In essence, the author suggest drawing the good out of the student by giving five recommendations that will help facilitate the process.
1. Interview Your Students.
2. Give assignments that allow students to share their experiences and interests.
3. Encourage classroom discussions that let students be the center of attention.
4. Attend extracurricular activities featuring your students.
5. Visit a site in your students’ community.
The NEA has been a part of the education system for decades. Their site is full of useful articles and information. This particular article offers 5 steps teachers can make to ensure they build better relationships with their students. The first suggestion is to become a popular teacher, as students do not want to disappoint teachers they like and respect. The second suggestion is get to know your students. While this may sound obvious, it is important to know a little about each student. It is much better to find out about Friday’s game from a sports fanatic, and the theater’s performance from a student active in drama.
Next, are two suggestions that work on respecting the student, to be careful of belittling them in front of their peers to protect their self esteem, and to build that esteem on the good days; the days they do well, let them know it! The final point suggest that simply listening to the student, without distraction and with your true attention, does wonders for their esteem.
All three articles are full of great ideas for developing and improving positive relationships between students and teachers.