A rapport is a relationship between two individuals or a group, and it can easily dictate how your professional experience together is going to unfold. That`s why it is extremely important for teachers to develop, early on, a strong and healthy rapport with the students. Having a positive and healthy rapport will help you ensure your classes get the most out of their time with you.
What to establish?
Empathy: Is it important to understand the emotional states of your students. To do so, you really need to also be aware of your own state, which could be anything from your emotional condition to your behaviors. You cannot just study empathy and put it to use. It is a skill learned over time, and one that requires understanding. You have to understand another persons point of view, even if it is completely opposite of your own views, and try to aid those point of views with healthy responses and counter opinions.
Listening: One of the most important skills a teacher possesses that can aid them in building rapport is active listening. Listen to specific words and tones your students use and try to pick up words and topics that are left unsaid. Keep an eye open for body movements and other nonverbal expressions, as they can say as much as spoken words. Be very attentive while listening to your students, block out everything else and make eye contact.
Trust: Trust is essential in any relationship. With a level of trust with your students, they are more apt to be attentive and more willing to participate in the class activities. To help build a level of trust, you should be aware of your student`s culture. You don`t necessarily have to be a part of it, but rather just understanding of it. Know what to expect and what is expected. A great and easy way to gain trust is being open with your students. Try sharing a part of yourself with them. It will help them see you as a person and not just their teacher.
Laughter: Everyone loves a good laugh, and your students are no different. People generally have automatic level of trust when they see a person can smile and laugh with them, and it helps people relax. When laughter is involved, it automatically demonstrates the class will not be boring and dragging on. As we will of course have serious times, breaking up a classroom with laughter will change everything in the classroom. Science has shown that laughter reduces levels of stress hormones in individuals, making it a great reason and way to aid in building your rapport.
Humility: Let`s be honest, no one likes a ‘know-it-all’. Simple as that. Though you may not be one, you don`t want your students to misconceive you as one. Teachers don`t always have all the answers, and that`s okay. If you are unsure of something, tell your students you are unsure, and that you will use your resources and tools to find them the correct answer and get back to them with it. The students will appreciate your honestly and it will help you earn their trust, and the ability to connect and form a positive relationship, all adding to the essential rapport.
There are plenty of ways to help build you an amazing rapport with your students; these are just a few examples. What do you find the most important and helpful in building your rapport? Let us know in the comments below!