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32 Tips For Building Better Relationships With Students

32 Tips For Building Relationships With Students

by TeachThought Staff

Building relationships with students isn’t always simple, but it’s crucial to the well-being and academic growth of all students.

Part of the reason it’s not, in fact, ’simple’ is because every student is different and there are few universal rules for engaging students. In the same way connecting with colleagues and people in your personal life can be complicated because of different contexts, interests, personalities, and communication patterns, connecting and building relationships with students in the classroom can be equally challenging.

And a distinction should be made here between building a ‘working relationship’ and authentic relationship with students. Because of your position of authority in the classroom, a ‘working relationship’ with a students is a matter of ‘classroom management’ in pursuit of ‘student engagement.’ This approach can be efficient, but the clinical tone leaves a lot on the table for the growth of students.

If you are able to authenticate that ‘working relationship’ with genuine interest and personalization, more human and affectionate terms for that relationship can grow, resulting in the often-elusive ‘student engagement’ while also making your job—and life—easier, and your classroom a more enjoyable place for everyone to be.

32 Tips For Building Relationships With Students

Which sets the stage for this graphic from The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning.

The image offers up 21 ways to build relationships with students. From asking questions to empowering students to expressing affection, they’re all simple and useful in almost any classroom, grade level, or content area. We’ve added 11 of our own, linked to some useful related resources, and re-worded or added to a few for clarity, emphasis, or extension. We’ve also highlighted our favorites.

What tips would you add to the list?

1. Ask questions–and help students ask better questions.

2. Give warm (or fun) greetings and good-byes.

3. Laugh together.

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4. Play–and help them learn through play.

5. Listen.

6. Validate feelings.

7. Encourage effort.

8. Give affection.

9. Share in activities. (Also, try to attend clubs, athletic events, and related extra-curricular activities when ever possible; bring your own children/family if you have to—see #

10. Provide support of every kind–academic, emotional, psychological, etc.

11. Remember what a child tells you.

12. Let the child take the lead.

13. Encourage friendships between students that may not normally interact.

14. Share personal stories.

15. Create special handshakes for students. (Also, see #2.)

16. Listen to a child’s favorite music. (Or play/watch videos of their favorite video games.)

17. Incorporate students’ interests into lessons/units/projects.

18. Get on the floor.

19. Give classroom jobs.

20. Give eye contact.

21. Call home for good behavior more often than bad.

22. Smile.

23. Make it clear you care about their learning because you care about them as human beings, not the other way around.

24. Have a short memory.

25. Model kindness and forgiveness.

26. Show that you know how to ‘have fun.’ Humanize yourself.

27. Avoid sarcasm.

28. Discipline their peers with respect.

29. Don’t lose your temper. Ever.

30. Use project-based learning to help them design learning experiences that change their lives.

31. Play games—especially team-building games—with them.

32. Read to them.

32 Tips For Building Better Relationships With Students

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You can see the original pdf files here.

32 Tips For Building Better Relationships With Students; image attribution flickr user flickeringbrad and The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning