Hi Lesia, Yes, for the most part student are my friends. There are of course certain boundaries that I set: I do not becomes "friends" with them on facebook, I don't gossip or discuss details of me personal life with them. However, I do listen to them when they want to talk about their own personal problems and in general have a friendly rapport with my students. We laugh and joke together and smile and say hi if we see each other outside of class. I find that the students that I am able to form this sort of friendship with are more attentive and motivated in the classroom, and more willing to talk to me when the are having trouble in class or see me outside of class for extra help. Hope this helps!
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Thank you, Lauren, for the answer. I agree with you. But sometimes students don't want to be your friends then what to do. How make them believe you? How persuade them to trust you?
I love Lauren's answer and agree with all the parameters of her relationship with students, but I always tell the students that they aren't my friends. I have a great relationship with my students, and they know that they can talk to me about anything, but there are many things I will never talk to them about, like Laurent said.
I'm going with a different POV here- I do think it is very important to know your students and build relationships with them. But, just as I am a parent 1st with my own children, I am my student's teacher not their "friend." This does not mean we cannot enjoy each other but it keeps things in perspective. In the classroom humor, respect, risk-taking is welcomed and encouraged but what we talk about during those precious minutes must be learning related. I like to greet my students at the door w/ a handshake and a hello- not all students want a handshake, their prerogative, but they all know they are welcome. I try to acknowledge something positive in that greeting. I do enjoy seeing them in the hallways, at after school functions, during lunch (I often visit the cafeteria during lunch) and having non-lesson related conversations then. One of my AP's gave a presentation about 3 perspectives we can use with our students:
We need to remember to use our adult always. And tho we would like to be liked by all of our students if we remember to keep the adult perspective and focus on their learning we'll get where we need to with them.
No, your students are not your friends. They are your students. There is a difference between a teacher and a student relationship. You can be friendly to some students, but not all. We are in the business of formal education, not in a social club. That is why there is so much disrespect, kindliness, and talk back from the students to the teachers. In our society, parents want to be their children's best friends. No, they need to be parents and that is a hard job. Teachers need to set a standard and a limitation and demand respect.
Thanks for the answer, Catherine.
But you are too strict. If you demand sth from your students, they can do the opposite , and in most cases they will do. Friendship between a teacher and a student does not mean familiarity, it is collaboration, partnership. If you enter the class with a smile on your face no matter how moody you are then you are a student's friend.
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