5 ways to build positive relationships with your students.
Building relationships with students is an effective method to gain engagement and manage behaviour. The more you get to know the children in your class the better you will become at picking up the signs that something isn’t right. That sentence was easy to write but hard to put into practice because…it is marking scrutiny this week, and mocksted next week, and the new IT assessment system has eaten your data like a ravenous byte-gobbling python etc etc. The clues to our children’s behavioural presentation are in their body language, engagement, appearance, and a multitude of other things. Keep your ears and eyes open for changes. I interviewed a teaching assistant once who said “We need to get into their world first so they will come into ours later.”
In our behaviour trining we are often asked: How to build positive relationships with your students?
Be consistent in your approach
Working in a school is stressful, anyone disagree?……….
However we work with impressionable and often vulnerable young people. School for many is their safe place where they know what is happening and should be surrounded by positive role models who want the best for them (see below). We need to be emotionally stable for our children. Especially those who challenge us. It may take time but the more predictable we are the more our students will trust us and allow us to support them when things get tricky.
Set expectations high
We all set our boundaries in slightly different places but the higher the better – Whether these would be the same for all students is open for debate I have written some of my thoughts here. But there is no harm is expecting the best and working towards it. Mr Drew has an excellent and relatable quote on this.
Own up to your mistakes.
We learn through making mistakes, right? Children can be very perceptive to unfairness. If you don’t know or make a mistake own up. Especially if you expect them to do the same. This creates a freedom to explore ideas and try things without fear of messing up. Every child needs an escape route and seeing you model how to own up and move on is a great lesson.
Don’t try and be cool
To be honest I don’t even know if people under 30 say cool anymore. If you try too hard to show you are down with the kids you will 1) look silly 2) Lose respect because you are acting. Now it is important to know about things your students think are important but let them tell you, teach you about things. Even if you know and were playing X-box before they were born let them have this… kids love teaching adults things.