A good teacher-student relationship is important for successful learning and teaching. Because whoever is respected and taken seriously builds trust, feels good, is motivated and committed. Studies have long proven this. But how does such a good relationship work. Research shows that a trusting relationship between teacher and students is a decisive criterion for good teaching. Relationship culture has long been part of the school program in many schools. In a school with such framework conditions, it will be easy for you to cultivate this culture in your classes as well. If the general conditions are less favorable, you can set a good example and, in the best case, achieve that the entire school catches up with you. Those who feel good learn better.
No question about it: the teacher-student relationship is not at eye level. As a teacher, you have a special role to play, both through your head start in competence and through your powers. To put it colloquially: you have the longer handle. It is all the more important not to exploit this “power”.
Good things take time. This applies to building any relationship, including building a good teacher-student relationship. It takes time and requires both sides to get to know each other. How you organize this phase and the following steps also depends on your teacher personality. But it is also due to the external circumstances. If, as a subject teacher, you teach many of your students only once or twice a week, relationship building will be more difficult for you than in the class you teach. Simply choose the right one from these suggestions.
- Your appearance alone creates a certain atmosphere in the classroom. A confident and open posture, combined with a friendly smile, triggers positive reactions from the students, which can have a positive effect on further interactions.
- When starting a new class, you shouldn’t just introduce yourself by name, you should also reveal a little of your personality. For example, you can bring some personal items with you and have students guess what that has to do with you. For example a picture of a bicycle if you are very athletic, the picture of your pet, certain books and so on. Also tell why you chose this job. In this way you create a relaxed atmosphere and make it easier for the students to talk about themselves.
- On the first day, you may greet your students with a handshake. Why not some other days too? In this way you show your appreciation and notice very quickly whether the individual students are doing well or not.
- You will notice the “difficult” students first. “Difficult” students in particular should be observed intensively in the first few weeks and immediately reported back their small positive progress.
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- Show interest beyond what is happening in school. For example, on the hobbies of your students, their favorite football club, or their taste in music. But be careful! Do not get too personal and avoid any cursing. Because it is important – with all confidence – to keep the given roles
- Mistakes are important for learning. Unfortunately, this didactic principle is not necessarily anchored in all schools. Try to exemplify a positive error culture in your classroom. The children also learn how to treat classmates and teachers respectfully.
- Teaching or teaching teachers – that’s part of their job. Nevertheless, you should always consciously take your time, listen to students in peace, let them finish speaking, be interested in what they think, what worries or makes them happy. You should also give up the freedom to make decisions from time to time, for example with the design of the lesson, with topics or with homework.
- Praise is important. But there are very subtle differences when it comes to praise. Praise can come from “above”, but appreciative praise is always one in which the child is recognized as a whole person and not just the current performance. And: Depending on their age, students react very differently to praise. Older students no longer want to be praised in front of the whole class. Then choose another form, such as written praise. And don’t forget to praise the whole class too. Serious recognition strengthens the sense of community in the class and supports team spirit.
- Address your students by name when you see them in the schoolyard. Make use of a variety of communication opportunities: during breaks, during class, on hiking days, in the school camp, during projects.
- Talk to your students about their enjoyment or discomfort in class. Students are experts in teaching matters. You can learn a lot from them. In addition, everyone can work on a good learning situation.
- Now and then swap your role as a forerunner and become a fellow player. For Physical Education teachers it is relatively easy to be part of a team, but you can also be a teacher in other subjects on an equal footing and become part of a work group, for example.
- Be sure to seek a lively exchange with the parents. In this way you will find out what you need to pay particular attention to and what expectations the parents have. You can also give you feedback at any time. And not only when there are problems, but also when everything is going well at school.
A good teacher-student relationship benefits everyone involved, as it ensures a learning-friendly climate in the classroom. It examined how a good relationship between teachers and students affects the well-being and motivation of teachers themselves. One result: If the children are unmotivated and undisciplined, this increases the emotional exhaustion of the teacher. Or to put it the other way round: a good teacher-student relationship also promotes your own health!