Building rapport is the act of establishing a harmonious relationship and developing effective communication with someone. An environment is conducive to learning when a teacher has a good rapport with her students. There are a number of activities that will promote a healthy relationship in the classroom and make for positive interactions between a teacher and her students.
Enjoying an activity as a group can bring people together, and games are a great way to do this. Students and the teacher can have fun while helping to build rapport and work as a team. For example, divide the students into teams of four. The first person draws a shape and the next person has five seconds to add to the drawing. The drawing must be completed within one minute. The object of the game is to see what you can draw as a team within one minute without knowing what you will be drawing. The teacher should be part of each team for one drawing. This will give her the opportunity to work as a team member with all of the students in the class.
One way to build rapport is by finding out what we have in common with each other. Everyone in class, including the teacher, should sit in a circle and offer three facts about themselves, such as where they live, their favorite TV show and their favorite music. This will help the teacher and students learn something about each other and find out what common interests they have. This can lead to comfortable conversations that will start to build a rapport.
For a more personal approach to building rapport, conduct interviews with students. Have each student sit next to the teacher for five minutes while she interviews them with prepared questions. The questions should be lighthearted and fun, such as, "What's your favorite sport?" It will give students the opportunity to talk about themselves and give the teacher a chance to learn about each student. These roles can also be reversed, where students prepare questions in advance, sit down with the teacher and interview her.
Normally, a quiz doesn't seem like something that would build rapport, but the questions on the quiz will. Let students know that they are having a pop quiz, and after their initial surprise and disappointment, pass out a quiz with questions about getting to know them. For example, "What is your favorite word, color or food?" or "What is your favorite band?" You can also mix in questions that have to do with school, such as, "What is your favorite and least favorite subject?" After the students turn in their quiz, the teacher can use the quiz as a guessing game. For example, "Guess who's favorite food is meatloaf?" This is a good way to use the answers on the quiz as a way of getting the class acquainted with the teacher and each other. The teacher can also tell the students that the quiz counts for a few extra points on their next real quiz.
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