Building relationships with your students is the most important thing to increase student success, happiness, and make classroom management seamless. However, building relationships with your students does not mean you should be friends with them. Children need structure and high expectations, but to succeed, they need to know you care about them and have their best interests at heart. Here are five ways to build relationships with your students.
Here are my five tips for building strong relationships with your students:
1. Get to know them personally.
Ask about their life outside of school. Take time to talk with all your students. Ask them about their family. What did they do over the weekend? Do they have any hobbies? This is not “wasted” academic time. This is the most valuable time that will make everything else easier!
Knowing things about your students’ personal lives will help you gear instruction towards their interests. This shows them how much you listen to them and care! I showed Peyton the new nonfiction soccer book I bought for the classroom library but wanted her to read first because I knew her love for soccer. She felt so special!
2. Build trust.
Show your students that what you say you mean and follow through. You will not make false promises.
3. Be firm.
Stick to your expectations, but always tell students why. They need to know it is because you have their best interest in your heart. “Ariel, I expect you to redo this assignment. I know you can do better. I can’t accept anything less than your best because I want you to succeed.”
4. Be fair.
Your actions should show you are fair and have the same expectations for everyone. Don’t play favorites. This is hard! Sometimes you may not realize you give the student who “always does the right thing” some slack, but the other kids will notice! They will lose trust in you if you are not fair.
5. Appreciate each child.
Appreciate each for their uniqueness. Celebrate differences in learning. Celebrate differences in culture. Celebrate differences in personalities.
With some of your kids, it will be easy to form relationships. They will be excited to open up to you and share their lives. It is more challenging to build relationships with other students. It may be a process you work on all year (and maybe even after they leave you for the next grade!). Even with the students who are less willing to open up, never stop trying. You will never really know the impact you may have.
Are you ready to have your best year ever?
If you’re a new teacher or if you just can’t seem to get a successful system of rituals and routines in place, and you’re ready to give your students the the stable learning environment you know they deserve, then check out my Classroom Management Course. Together, we’ll build a strategy for success that you can use year after year. Your students will thrive. And you can reduce your stress and finally earn the respect you deserve.