How to Build Relationships in the Classroom

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Building relationships in the classroom is an essential part of any instructor's career. Having healthy teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships is an effective way to help prevent academic failure, social conflict and quarrelsome behavior. For students to learn in an effective manner they need to feel comfortable, loved and accepted in their learning environment. Multiple strategies are available that can be used to achieve healthy long-lasting relationships in the classroom setting.

  • Get to know your students. Each of your students has separate personalities, which is why it is important for you to know them as individuals. A unique way to know more about your students is to have them keep a personal journal that is meant for only you to read, unless otherwise instructed. Also, have several minutes set aside once a week at the beginning of class to allow your students to read a journal entry aloud if they are willing to volunteer. The journals will give you a good sense of each of your student's personalities, and if journal entries are read aloud it will also give other students in the classroom a chance to better understand one another.

  • Show appropriate manners, and expect to receive the same. When students and teachers feel that they are respected and not treated unfairly, the relationships in the classroom will grow at a positive rate. Simple courtesy such as saying "thank you," "please" and "you're welcome" will show each of your students that you respect and appreciate them, and it will encourage them to treat you with the same courtesy.

  • Acknowledge your students. Similar to the way professionals enjoy receiving recognition and praise for demonstrating hard work efforts, it is the same with your students. When your class scores an average high on a test, acknowledge your students as a whole. If a few students received low markings, include them in the acknowledgment as well. It will encourage them to do better on the next test or assignment.

  • Create group activities. Students love to have fun in the classroom regardless of age. Having group activities in the classroom every other week, give or take, is very beneficial to students. Not only do they give you a chance to connect with your students, they also help build student-to-student relationships.

    A great group activity to help each student learn more about his personality is the "True Colors Personality Test." The test consists of four colors: red, blue, green and orange. Each color describes the four most common personality types. After each student discovers his personality type, group together students who have the same personality type and allow them to discuss why they are most like the chosen personality type. Most corporations use this assessment so employers can get to know one another and have a better understanding of their personalities.

  • Involve the students' parents. If the students are not of adult age, their parents should be involved in their education. Reminding the parents of upcoming events, tests and assignments that are due is an effective way for your students to succeed. Also, if there is a concern or any "good news," it is important to pass this information on to the parents in order for them to issue praise or properly resolve the concern. This strategy will help you build relationships with the students' parents as well as the students.

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  • Photo Credit teacher & students image by Luisafer from Fotolia.com
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