All good relationships begin with conversations. Teachers can set the foundation for a positive relationship by getting to know each of their students better. They could, for instance, start by talking to them about their talents or career aspirations. Some teachers make a mental note of these interests and ambitions, and the next time they see any relevant information in the newspaper or on the internet, they share it with the student. This further strengthens the relationship.
The mantra is to be gentle, but firm. Teachers who state their expectations clearly at the start of the year (for instance, assignment deadlines, attendance, using cellphones, etc.), tend to have more positive experiences in the classroom. As the year progresses, keep the communication open. Be consistent with what you say and what you do.
Encourage a classroom environment where everyone feels respected. Most importantly, treat all students fairly. When students notice that their teacher is not biased, they automatically reciprocate with trust and respect.
Students often trust their teacher’s comments about their performance—a few words of encouragement can inspire them to set loftier goals whereas one harsh statement may leave a huge dent in their confidence and self-esteem. Use positive language wherever possible.
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