How to Build a Good Rapport with Students

785

Knowing how to build a good rapport with students is useful knowledge and seems to come naturally to some teachers.  If this is something you’d like to develop, there are some useful tips below.

Smile

There is a famous poem by Spike Milligan where the first line states ‘A Smile is Infectious’.  (You can read it here.)  It’s so true.  Smile and the world smiles back.  In the UK there used to be a very old fashioned idea that you didn’t smile until Christmas with a class if you were a good disciplinarian.  How miserable! The first step for building rapport is to give your class a welcoming smile.  If your class lines up at the door like mine do, welcome them as they walk in with a friendly hello and smile.  No one is drawn to a miserable face, your students included.

Learn Student Names

If you’ve ever read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ you’ll know the importance people place on their own name.  You need to not only learn students names but use them when talking to them.  Sometimes there may be different ways to pronounce the same name, the simplest thing is to ask the student how to pronounce it and make a note of it phonetically in your planner.  Tell the whole class that if you pronounce their name incorrectly to please let you know.  There is an excellent blog post here on how to learn student names.

Ask Questions

All people like to talk about themselves.  Asking questions is a great way to get to know students and let them know you’re interested in them and a human being! Showing an interest in what they are interested in will definitely build a rapport.  I love it when I find out we watch the same TV programmes.  When you have something to enthuse about together, you very quickly build a rapport.

Be Visible

Outside of lesson time ‘be visible’ on the corridor, in the dining room, outside.  This is a further opportunity to build rapport.  Interact with students.  Notice them rather than going blindly to your next task.  Comment on a new haircut or smile and nod.  Don’t force it as students will spot a phoney from a mile away; just smile if the conversation doesn’t come naturally.  I’m not suggesting you try and be their best friend.  You must, of course, reinforce school rules as you go through the day and students will respect that too.

If you have any good strategies on how to build rapport with students, please comment below.

 

The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

More Posts

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here