How to Show Your Students that You Care About Them
Julia G. Thompson
How important is it to connect with your students in a positive way? Crucial. A productive teacher-student relationship can make a class run smoothly. Without it, nothing will. Students of all ages need to feel that their teachers like them and approve of what they do. Fortunately for teachers everywhere, there are many, many ways to show that you care about your students while still maintaining a professional attitude.
Here are a few quick suggestions for those teachers who want to project a positive, productive attitude while working with students. Please feel free to add your comments! We all learn from each other.
- While you don’t want to be a pushover, try to find common ground as often as you can. The simple act of agreeing with your students as often as you can sets a pleasant and cooperative tone.
- Set responsible behavior limits for everyone, and be fair when you enforce these limits.
- Use a kind voice when you speak with your students.
- Listen to all of your students. Encourage them to share ideas and opinions.
- If one of your students is in the newspaper for something positive, clip out the article and display it.
- Stress the things that you and your students have in common: goals, dreams, and beliefs.
- When a student speaks to you, stop and listen.
- Respond to emails from your students promptly and courteously.
- When you display student work, don’t just display the best. Display everyone’s work.
- Have students create study buddy groups so that they can be connected to other students and to you. Students who feel as if they are part of a class tend to want to remain in school longer than those students who feel isolated.
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- Maintain a birthday calendar for your students. Celebrate birthdays with birthday messages on the board.
- Attend school events. If your students play a sport or perform in a concert, go and watch them to show your appreciation for their hard work.
- Use good manners when you deal with your students and insist that they do the same.
- When students confide in you, follow up. For example, if students have told you that they were worried about a test in another class, take the time to ask about how they did.
- Make it very clear to your students that you want to help them achieve their dreams.
- Ask about a student’s family. If you know someone is ill, show your concern.
- Show your sense of humor. Laugh when funny things happen in class—especially when they happen to you.
- Speak to every student each day. Leave no one out of class discussions.
- Write notes to your students. Use plenty of stickers, and write positive comments on their papers.
- Make a positive phone call home when a student’s effort is paying off.
- Pay attention to your students’ health. If students need to go to the clinic, send them. When students have to miss several days because of illness, call to see how they are doing, or send a get-well card. Be prompt in sending work to the student’s home
- Use this sentence to convey your concern: “What can I do to help you?”
- Talk with students when you notice a change in their behavior. For example, if a normally serious student is neglecting his or her work, find out why.
- Take the time to tell your students what you like about them.
- Take photographs of your students. Use these photos on a wall of pride.
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