Question Detail

How can a new teacher build a rapport with students that balances friendliness with professional distance?

Jan 6, 2015 5:34pm

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    • Jan 7, 2015 5:30pm

      I think it is really important to have clear expectations that demonstrate you trust and respect the students while also helping them to feel safe and secure in the classroom. Having clear expectations with logical consequences (we use responsive classrooms approach) allows you to build a friendly environment while also maintaining a level of professionalism and respect.

      • Jan 9, 2015 10:31pm

        Also setting boundaries as a teacher as to what you discuss with your students, what questions you ask or are willing to answer. It is important to get to know your students and find ways to build personal relationships which can be done without crossing the boundaries you set for yourself and your classroom.

        • Mar 12, 2015 11:43am

          I think building a rapport with students as new teacher will be one of the biggest challenges for me. Of course I want students to like me and like coming to class everyday, but I'm also 22-23 years old and will be the "young teacher," creating more challenges. I think the best thing to do will be to create clear rules, procedures, and expectations. In the classroom it will be important for me to create an environment that shows I am the teacher and will show professional distance. I do, however, feel like it is important for students and teachers to have relationships. To do this, I will make sure students know when it is time to be serious and when it is time to have fun. Teachers can show professional friendliness without divulging all the secrets about his/her life. Learning games are a great way for teachers to show their friendly side while keeping up rapport. Anytime the school is having a fun activity, it is important for students to see teachers having a fun time too; this is keeping their professionalism and rapport with students.

          • Jun 15, 2015 11:27pm

            In order to build rapport with students, I believe that it is very important for a new teacher to express concern for his or her students on the first day of school. There must also be some consistency. Continually express your concern for the welfare of your students. Celebrate their successes and help them grow from their mistakes. Set clear guidelines for students and maintain the fairness in your classroom when implementing rules and guidelines. Fairness and consistency go a long way when trying to establish rapport with students. There's a way to let students know that you care while also maintaining professionalism.

            • Jun 21, 2015 10:02pm

              Establishing a harmonious, positive teacher-student relationship is vital for effective teaching. Teacher and student rapport supports positive behavior, student productivity, and greater academic success. As a new teacher, it is important to set the tone from day one. First impressions count. What are your expectations for classroom behavior? Introduce and explain the rationale for the rules and procedures for the classroom community. How do your expectations and standards help to ensure your students success? Students want to feel acknowledged, feel known, and feel valued as individuals. Students want to connect with their classroom community. However, such connections must be built and earned by new teachers. The teacher should be friendly, showing students care by greeting them in the morning and attempting to get to know them as unique individuals. Friendliness does not mean being your students’ friend. As a teacher, your role is to ensure the success of your students. How does giving student unearned rewards contribute to their academic success? Also, the teacher must maintain the line between personal and professional and never cross it.
              The teacher should be focused, providing consistent and specific feedback to students. The teacher can develop ‘mutual understanding’ and cooperation by being constructively assertive and persistent. The teacher should demonstrate fairness, encouraging all students to participate and feel valued. Teachers can fairness to the entire classroom community and encourage fairness among students as classroom policy. The teacher should demonstrate empathy and listen to the concerns of students.

              • Mar 13, 2015 4:48pm

                To build a rapport with students, teachers must make them feel comfortable and be clear in their expectations. In terms of making students feel comfortable, I mean that they must be comfortable with both the teacher and the surroundings. Students need to know that they can come to you (the teacher) with any problems they have and that you will address them in the best way that you possibly can, as well as feel free to talk to you when they are struggling. They must also be comfortable with their surroundings because if the student is uncomfortable in your classroom, due to other students or any sort of trigger, they cannot learn properly or connect with you or their peers. As for clear expectations, students cannot respect, connect or form a rapport with a teacher who is wishy washy, unclear in their instructions, and inconsistent in their grading and the treatment of their students because it makes them uncomfortable and off kilter.

                • Mar 14, 2015 12:28pm

                  Striking a balance between friendliness with students to build a rapport while keeping a professional distance can be a challenge, especially for new and/or young teachers. I think the best way to establish a professional distance is to establish clear expectations of rules and behaviors. To build rapport, I think showing your personality is important, as well as relating content to student interests. In doing so, students are able to better connect with not just the material, but with you. It is important not to share too much of your personal life, however. Also, building rapport by letting students know you care about their achievements and are there to support them if they need any help with the content.

                  • Mar 14, 2015 9:24pm

                    In order to build rapport with students, a teacher must make their expectations clear. The teacher must make sure that her rules are clear and easy to understand. It is important to remember that first impressions are not only important for a job interview but other situations such as meeting students for a new school year. The teacher must have a friendly welcome for the students as well as be organized. It is easy to have a good rapport with someone if you are well organized and excited about your course topic. It is also important to get to know your students. There should be a small get to know you activity within the first few days of the school year. This will let your students know that you care about them and are there for them every step of the way.

                    • Mar 15, 2015 12:45am

                      I believe that a new teacher that really wants to build rapport with their students will need to show interest in them from the very first day of school. This could include what sports they like to play, favorite genre of music, or types of books they like to read. However, the teacher should start off by setting clear rules and expectations. The teacher should have clear boundaries set for the students and themselves. The student of course hasn't matured yet so they will most likely over step some, but the teacher will need to immediately nip it in the bud as they say. The teacher is the mature adult in this relationship so we should know exactly what to do and say when building rapport with our students.

                      • Mar 15, 2015 2:04pm

                        I think in order to build rapport with your students that balances friendliness with professional distance, you need to get to know them but keep a professional distance. You can do so by finding out what the students' extra-curricular activities are, what food they like, how many siblings they have, etc. You can have them fill out a student information card at the beginning of the semester. Also, reciprocate what they shared with you. Any questions you ask them, I think it's fair to share the same about yourself. If it's too personal for you to answer, it's probably too personal for you to ask them. In addition, when you ask the student's about themselves, I think it is important to follow-up. If a student plays basketball for your school, go to one of the games or at least find out if his/her team won or not, so you can give praise or encouragement next time you see him/her.

                        • Mar 15, 2015 2:57pm

                          The best way for a new teacher to build rapport with students that balances friendliness with professional distance is to first establish expectations and rules and make sure they understand your expectations and rules. Be prepared and well organized so students will trust you as their leader. Make students feel welcome and give them classroom responsibilities. I think it is very important for a teacher to get to know his/her students but not get too personal. Have them fill out a short information card the first day of class that tells a little about them. Teachers should form caring relationships with students, show interests in students activities, create safe environments, and make the classroom and learning fun. Always praise more than you criticize!!

                          • Mar 15, 2015 2:59pm

                            For there to be a professional distance between students and teachers it is obvious that a teacher must have a set of classroom rules that students are expected to follow. However, teachers should make some guidelines for themselves that they must follow too. For example, showing favoritism toward one student over another can really hurt a student and make them feel left out and cause them not to put for effort in anything school related.
                            Many students already understand that a person becomes a teacher because they genuinely care for others and want to help them learn. But, there are many students out there that you have to put forth more effort into making them see that you as a teacher actually care about them and want them to do well. For these students I have had to sit with them one-on-one and share with them why I became a teacher and why I think they could do better (behaviorally and academically) in my classroom. For example, I have a student who might fail this last semester, he barely past the first one. Recently, this student excitedly came to me at the end of the day wanting to know how he did on a quiz he had taken in class that same day. He said, “I feel like I did much better on this one than the others.” So, I showed him what he made, which was a 60% (failing at out school is a 64% and below.) He then threw his hand up in the air and said, “I failed again!” Instead of agreeing with him and letting him walk on out of my room. I asked him to come back and I told him, yes you “fail again”, but look at the improvement you have made within a short amount of time. The last 3 quizzes you have received a 10%, an 18%, and a 25%. This grade is a 35% improvement from the last quiz, so this is NOT a failure, but a great step forward into becoming a student with passing grades. When he left my classroom his head was being held higher, than before our little talk.
                            The reason I share this story is to demonstrate that there are two great ways to balances friendliness with professional distance, and that is through encouraging words and empathy.

                            • Mar 15, 2015 5:26pm

                              Building a rapport with your students that balances friendliness with professionalism begins even before the start of school. To build a rapport with your students, you must show them that you are personable. The school's open house is a great way to begin this process by getting to know your students. Introducing yourself by telling students and parents more about yourself without oversharing allows them a window into your life and interests and in return letting them introduce themselves to you. This lets students know that they can trust and talk to you. Continuing this practice throughout the school year while still holding firm boundaries and expectations within the classroom can lead to an even better rapport.

                              • Mar 15, 2015 9:17pm

                                Maintaining consistency with regard to rules, procedures, and other expectations is essential. Consider the old adage: people won't respect you unless you give them reason to and show them respect. Showing the students that you respect them and believe in them is important. It is also important not to pick favorites, but to treat each student in the same manner and have the same level of expectations for each one. Providing students with engaging enrichment activities is also helpful. Most importantly, if you say you are going to do something, always follow through with it. Students will not respect a teacher who is inconsistent in his/her habits.

                                • Mar 15, 2015 9:52pm

                                  This is a very difficult line to balance. I believe that most newer teachers are eager to make the whole class like them, but that’s irresponsible and unsustainable. I believe the lessening quota is the most appropriate tool in a setting like this. Little by little the teacher will enforce rules and procedures in a stricter manner. Nearly all students understand this trend and will follow suit. The students that don’t take you at your word will have to be dealt with by administration. Once the class sees that you’re a person of your word, they will follow the procedures much more quickly. Unfortunately, it usually does take a few students that exhibit the enforcing of procedures. This isn’t preferable in a class setting, as it can make the teacher look a bit adversarial, but it will show the rest of the class that you will be enforcing your rules.

                                  • Mar 17, 2015 4:26pm

                                    Students value consistency and fairness. You don't have to be mean but you have to establish clear expectations from the beginning. Students have to know you are about business. When you say you are going to do something, you do it. Bluffing can get you in trouble. For example, threatening to call their parents but never exercising the option. The student will no longer take you seriously. I think being fair, providing open communication, and being consistent are keys to establishing rapport with students that balances friendliness with professional distance.

                                    • Mar 17, 2015 10:37pm

                                      Building rapport with your students is extremely important and is an excellent resource for classroom management tactics. Rapport is building a strong bond with each of your students that includes trust and respect. As a new teacher, you want to set clear rules and expectations for your students and also let them know what they can expect from you. Always hold up to your end of the deal to earn their trust. You will also want to engage in one-on-one interactions with your students to get to know each of them. Share information about yourself with them as well - just keep it professional. Do not tell them about the divorce that you are going through, but tell them about a summer vacation and a funny story about something that happened during that time. As you develop your relationship with these students, be kind, courteous, and respectful and they will respect you as well.

                                      • Jun 17, 2015 10:46am

                                        Building a rapport with students can be one of the most challenging aspects for a new teacher. Creating an environment that makes the students feel comfortable, safe, and open is an important step. Also being a new teacher you need to go in and outline procedures, expectations, and consequences. Making sure each of the students know what you expect from them and what will happen if they cross a boundary. Allowing a student to be able to express his or her personality while staying inside those boundaries is very important, to feel safe a child needs to feel that they can be themselves and express themselves in a way that is beneficial. Gaining respect and trust goes both ways, you cannot expect a kid to automatically trust and respect you. You have to show them that you care about their learning and about them while maintaining a professional distance. A new teacher needs to go into the year being positive about every student. If a student knows that you care about them they are more likely to work harder in your class than that of a class in which they feel the teacher could care less. Sharing things about yourself to students is a good way to show them that you are open and it will make the students feel more comfortable. A lot of teachers want to make students feel as though the teacher is perfect, when in reality we are all far from perfect. Letting your students know that mistakes happen and everyone makes them will allow the student to feel safe and unafraid to try something new when it comes to learning.

                                        • Jun 17, 2015 11:51am

                                          Building rapport with students is one of the most important aspect of classroom management. Most students do not want teachers knowing all of their personal business however they do want the teacher to care about them. New teachers need to remember that rapport can be built without getting overly personal and without being buddies with the students. In order to accomplish this goal, the teacher must show interest in the student on an educational level and give the student respect. The old saying “they have to earn my respect” often puts up a road block for students. The teacher must treat the student with respect to let them know that their opinion is valuable. This creates a sense of trust that the students are able to safely express themselves without being criticized. Other ways to build rapport is by giving verbal and non-verbal positive reinforcement in the classroom such as smiling or giving the student kudos for doing well. I have found, as a student, more connection to a teacher when the teacher is willing to share appropriate personal information which has allowed me to realize that they are “real”. This resulted in me feeling comfortable to go to the teacher if I had any questions.

                                          • Jun 17, 2015 11:36pm

                                            As a first year teacher, this will probably be one of the hardest things to master. Finding the perfect balance that works for you will take some practice, and starting out I feel that it better to err on the side professionalism.

                                            Being a young petite (and by petite I mean short) female, I know I have to be careful. If I am not focused and assertive from the get go, my students will most likely not take me seriously and will challenge my authority often. However, I think that you can be assertive and confident, but still show a level of friendliness. Just because I am at a (shorter) disadvantage doesn’t mean that I have to be the mean, cold, heartless teacher no one likes just to get my point across. It will take a balance of empathy, interest, and encouragement, but in the world of teaching a little bit goes a long way. If we just respect our students, make them feel comfortable in our classroom and show a little compassion, building an appropriate rapport will come easy.

                                            • Jun 18, 2015 6:45am

                                              Charla Kight

                                              I think building rapport with students is something a teacher has to begin thinking about even before the first day of school. I think this is especially true for new teachers. We all need to ask ourselves, "how am I going to begin from day one building this relationship?". Although you do want to have a friendly rapport with the students, you must maintain professionalism. I think it is just like with any job, you must maintain professionalism. Although, the difference here is that you are surrounded by kids.

                                              Like we discussed in class last night, our actions have consequences and as the teacher we must enforce this in the classroom. By doing this in a very objective matter without emotions, you are letting them know that while you aren't mad or judgmental, this is just the way it is. I think this gives them an example of what professionalism is.

                                              Of course you want to be friendly, warm and inviting so that kids feel safe. You must remember that you are there to educate them not to make friends.

                                              • Oct 28, 2015 11:36am

                                                There are a variety of ways a new teacher can build rapport while being friendly yet professional. These methods are both overt and subtle and must be practiced from the very first day. Greeting all students at the door is a simple habit to develop. A teacher can clearly express that his or her classroom is a safe, fair environment. This builds rapport if the teacher follows through with that promise. A new teacher can also look at what society views as an imbalance of friendliness and professionalism. There are tips, resources, and news stories to help teachers define this boundary. By learning from other teachers’ social media and classroom errors, teachers can learn when and where to maintain professional distance. The balance between friendliness and professionalism is in play in and out of the classroom, but honesty, compassion, and consistency are the most important elements of developing student rapport.

                                                • Jun 18, 2015 1:03pm

                                                  Conveying a genuine care for and interest in the students, as well as an attentiveness to their needs in a personable, accessible way goes far to develop a friendly rapport. Seeing a teacher who is genuinely engaged with their lives in a thoughtful, human manner draws students, and indeed anyone, to them. To keep that professional distance, the teacher needs to couple the friendly, caring, human aspect with clear personal boundaries and class expectations. The teacher can't feel so understanding of a child's poor home life as to let them get away with what's normally unsatisfactory behavior. Getting too emotionally involved isn't going to keep that professional distance that's required. The class expectations must be equally enforced and consistent. One should never imperiously lord it over students, which would certainly destroy any friendly rapport. Expectations, however, must be clear and consequences for failure to adhere to them must follow. One might term it an engaged detachment.

                                                  • Jun 18, 2015 3:20pm

                                                    Respect has the largest impact on any relationship. As an educator, I respect each student as an individual and respect their perspective. However, it is equally important for students to respect my position as well. Both parties understand rules and guidelines and must respect the difference between right and wrong. Certain professional boundaries can not and will not be crossed. I also believe that open communication is very important when building rapport. I like for students to know they can trust me and that I have their best interest at heart. Although, what's in the students' best interest may not be what they want to hear, each student will know that I care about their success and well-being. I will be honest and helpful, but within our teacher/student boundaries. Most times kids just need to know someone will listen and that someone genuinely cares.

                                                    • Jun 18, 2015 4:13pm

                                                      A relationship between the student and teacher can make the student feel valued, comfortable enough to talk, and more willing to be intellectually challenged. However, a teacher can go too far trying to create a relationship. To bring students to a teacher, a teacher can use personality, humor, and charisma to get students to want to be around and take an interest. A teacher should never talk about personal problems with a student. Teachers are not in school to make friends but to make successes.

                                                      • Jun 18, 2015 9:13pm

                                                        I think building rapport with students begins with conversation. You can’t just talk at students, you must talk with your students. I believe teachers must listen as much as they talk. To have a good connection with students you must be genuine, students can tell if you are sincere or not. Maintaining a professional distance can be accomplished by remembering you’re an authority figure, and demonstrating it through consistent boundaries and discipline. You must be a caring authority figure and that includes following through with consequences, students may lose trust in you if you aren’t fair and consistent. An enforced discipline policy can serve both in building rapport and helping keep the teacher in a professional role.

                                                        • Jun 20, 2015 2:40pm

                                                          Building rapport with students seems to be a tough act to balance. Students can view you as one of their pals, or they could see you as that teacher that no one likes and just doesn't understand the kids. I think a big part of building rapport is to find out what that student is interested in. Many students just want some attention, especially if they don't have any at home. Another important piece is respect. I think some teachers believe they deserve respect just because of the position they hold. This should be the case to a point but if, as a teacher, you want someone to respect you, you must first show respect to them. This shows the students that you care about them and their education.

                                                          • Jun 20, 2015 4:58pm

                                                            A new teacher can build rapport with students that balances friendliness with professionalism by being consistent and well organized. I think that building rapport starts before the students step into the classroom, it involves organizing an online presents that has the syllabus, rules/procedures and the assignments. Also by making the classroom a comfortable and efficient place for students to feel welcomed but also aware that the space created is for learning. Once the first class starts it is important to go over the guidelines of what is expected of each student as well as convey to the students that you are a resource and that you are there to help them with anything within the subject. The key to creating a positive rapport is to be consistent. Positive action and thinking are key, be optimistic with your students and let them know that you care about their academic success. To keep that boundary clear, you must set the line and consistently keep that up with every student equally.

                                                            • Jun 20, 2015 5:46pm

                                                              This is an aspect of teaching that I find very fragile, and I think it can be somewhat difficult to find the line and avoiding crossing it. I am 24, and in the grand scheme of things, there will not be a huge age gap between myself and my high school students. I know I am the kind of person who will want my students to not only respect me, but like me as well, and that can be a dangerous game. I have to make sure that I am the adult and the mentor, and I have to make that clear straight away, or I am going to struggle for power. Dr. Mills, you noted in class that there should never be a power struggle, because if there is, then the student(s) already won, and time was lost. I want them to be in a safe space, but I also want them to recognize that space as structured and organized by boundaries. I think that the best rapport you can build with your students is one of mutual respect; I want them to know they can trust me, and I want them to understand that I have their best interests at heart, but I also want them to place me in the position of their mentor and... overseer...simply because they respect me and what I am trying to do for them. I want to positively reinforce them without appearing weak, and I want to handle all decisions delicately, void of anger or irrational emotions. I am someone who acts on emotion sometimes, and I want to learn to incorporate my emotions into my decisions without letting them define my decisions. I hope that my students will feel like they can talk to me about more than just academics, but I also know that I should share minimal information about my own personal life. They must feel like they know me on a professional, yet somewhat intimate, level. Finding the sacred balance between the two will define many aspects of classroom management and my rapport as a teacher. I think the first vital thing I can do is set standards and put rules and procedures into motion. Kids love structure, even if they think they hate it. If I can provide some structure in their chaotic lives, I may begin earning their respect immediately.

                                                              • Jun 20, 2015 10:52pm

                                                                I believe that building rapport with students starts on the first day of class. It is important that you greet your students individually in a professional manner as they walk into the classroom to let them know that you are glad to be there and glad they are there as well. Another way of building rapport is to allow student input when developing class rules. It could make the students feel more invested in the class. You are still the instructor and leader of the class, so it is important that you consistently and fairly administer discipline when the rules have been breached. Finally, remember to smile (not creepily) and converse with your students. Always keep topics appropriate and never engage in communication via personal social media pages/profiles.

                                                                • Jun 21, 2015 5:18pm

                                                                  I think time and a teacher’s classroom expectations are the two most dominant factors to building healthy rapport with students. Building any relationship and creating rapport takes time. A new teacher cannot just expect to be able to relate to all their students in the first week of school. A teacher much also have clear classroom expectations for behavior and learning. Rapport also takes effort on the part of the teacher, but with that effort a teacher much keep appropriate professional boundaries. To recap, in order to build healthy and professional rapport with students a teacher needs time and clear classroom expectations.

                                                                  • Jun 21, 2015 5:42pm

                                                                    One thing that I have found is that showing interest in their interests is a very powerful way to connect. I never just blankly look at them when they are telling me about something "cool." If they are trying to distract me, I often suggest they tell me after class. If they student seems especially fragile, I will remind them after class to tell me. I also get their input on assignments. For example, in Reading class I often bring in 2 essays for an in-class exercise and ask them which topic they prefer. I believe that giving them choices helps them feel valued in the classroom and establishes trust.

                                                                    Another really valuable skill is the art of letting a student know when they have crossed a boundary without rejecting them. Many students don't have many positive role models and don't know what is appropriate behavior and what is not. A quick subject change can work, or simply ignoring the behavior. What works really depends on the personality of the student. Some are very sensitive and only require the minimal response (or lack of it). Some students take a much heavier hand and require a verbal reprimand. No matter what personality type, I find that following a signal of "this is not ok" with a later signal of "I still value you" is important. Simply walking by their desk and looking at their work and saying "good" can re-establish good will. I always want me students to understand that it is the behavior I don't like, not them.

                                                                    • Jun 21, 2015 9:39pm

                                                                      I belive that in order for teachers to have a good rapport with students, one needs to have clear cut rules and expectations outlined at the beginning of the school year. The teacher must establish his/her rituals and routines in order for the students to know what is expected of them at all times. When these rituals and routines are set in place, the teacher can build on this. This will also give the teacher balance within the classroom between friendly rapport(not friends) and professional distance, because the students will respect the teacher as the authority figure.This allows the studuents to know and stay in his/her role as a students and the teacher to remain in her role as the classroom teacher. Students come in with a longing to establish a relationship with his or her teacher, so with this in mind, I do not feel that establishing a rapport with the students is going to be hard, but some teachers may struggle with the professional distance.

                                                                      • Jul 18, 2015 5:14pm

                                                                        I think that giving clear boundaries is important. One of those being that you should not let students know very much information about your personal life. This can be done by setting all your social media accounts on private, because almost all kids have a Facebook, or a Twitter, or an Instagram, etc. I think that respecting your students plays a major role in building your rapport with them. They do not want to be treated like children, no matter how young they may be. Treating your students like they are fellow adults may be the key in building a rapport that balances friendliness with professional distance.

                                                                        • Jul 21, 2015 12:46pm

                                                                          I think the most important thing when building rapport with students is showing that you care. Most teachers I have talked to mention that showing students you care first will later lead to learning and respect. A great way to show students you care is to set goals for them early on in the school year. This allows you to show you care while still balancing professionalism. Once you've set these goals and expressed you think they are all capable, you can follow up with fair procedures to build respect. Between caring and having their respect, you have built a healthy level of rapport with your students.

                                                                          • Jul 21, 2015 2:35pm

                                                                            The best way to build a rapport with students is to treat them the way I expect to be treated. As a teacher in the classroom, I am part of the classroom community so the rules and procedures apply to me, just as they apply to the students. I must participate in the cohesive community and not demonstrate hypocrisy. I need to be cognizant of changes in the students; changes that may be a direct result of something I did or didn't do, or something occurring inside or outside of school. If something is significant to the student, it is important and affects the community; I need to be empathetic and not dismissive. Finally, the students need to understand I am not their friend, I am their advocate and protector in the school community.

                                                                            • Jul 22, 2015 12:15pm

                                                                              Building rapport with students is one of the most important things that a new teacher can do. In order to build rapport, the teacher must ensure the students know that there are rules/procedures in place, and that the teacher cares about their development/well being. Defining rules/procedures, expectations, standards, and consequences are all things that the new teacher needs to do on the first day. In addition, the new teacher can get to know each student (their likes, dislikes, learning style, favorite subject, etc) in order to convey that concern. Balancing friendliness with professional distance is a key component in today's society. Too many times, we see a story on the news detailing a teacher who failed to exhibit professionalism and "got too close" to their students. It is up to the teacher to maintain a culture of professionalism, as well as an approach that builds personal relationships that show the teacher cares about the student, their education, their potential, and their future. This comes into play when setting rules/procedures, and enforcing rules/consequences for behavior that is not conducive to the learning environment. It is at this time that the teacher must exhibit firm, fair, consistent, and professional behavior. If a teacher does all these things, they will help to build rapport and maintain a professionalism that educators need today.

                                                                              • Jul 22, 2015 2:12pm

                                                                                It's important to understand in your own mind that the end goal is not for the students to simply like you. For a pleaser like myself, I have to stay on guard that I don't fall into this trap. To that end, earning respect from students and being clear in your role with them is a big priority. Earning respect is most often accomplished by demonstrating the behavior you expect of your students. If they see that you aren't asking them to do anything you aren't willing to do yourself, it goes a long way. Setting clear and consistent rules and procedures is key. If students understand what the expectations are in your classroom, they feel much more in control and likely to succeed. Being a friend to your students cheats them of having an actual adult in their adult that cares for them and helps them to grow and learn.

                                                                                • Jul 23, 2015 1:22am

                                                                                  A new teacher can build rapport with students that balances friendliness with professional distance by understanding the expectations of students, staff, and self. Some of the friendly expectations may be smiling, remembering names, and using kind and direct communication instead of sarcasm or insincerity. Expectations of professional distance could include keeping personal social media exclusive of students, consistency with discipline, and modest clothing. The best way to build rapport with students is through having a genuine interest in being a kind educator with appropriate boundaries, and having that interest demonstrated in transparent behavior that proves pure motives. Children are quite able to notice inconsistencies in behavior, and that can cause them to question the motives and ethic of the educator. These questions could ultimately lead to distrust toward the educator, which has destructive consequences to rapport.

                                                                                  • Jul 23, 2015 12:00pm

                                                                                    Building rapport is very important. As a teacher you want your students to have a bond with you that starts and ends with respect. As teachers there are many ways we can build this with our students even before classes start. By being prepared for class, setting clear expectations and providing a comfortable learning environment we start building rapport from the very beginning. It is very important to try to get to know our students and incorporating them into the classroom. My fifth grade teacher included pictures of all of his classes he has had over the years along the wall of his classroom. This made students feel as if they really belonged in the classroom. Teachers need to provide an environment where students feel safe, and comfortable. Another way of building rapport includes providing both boundaries and clear expectations for students. It is very important to keep things professional and separate your personal life from the classroom. I know personally that students can easily lose respect for teachers when they combine their personally and professional lives in the classroom. Probably the most important key to building rapport is staying consistent. By making rules or procedures as you go students will feel as if you are a pushover or you have no idea what you are doing. In addition to staying consistent it is equally important to follow through on commitments. In this way you not only build rapport but you also will build trust and respect.

                                                                                    • Jul 23, 2015 12:44pm

                                                                                      The first thing to building rapport is trust and respect, which you can accomplish by getting to know your students in and out of the classroom. Teachers need to find ways to connect students' outside world with the class work. A teacher needs to be caring and genuine and value his/her students. Students really like getting personal notes on homework and they also like a teacher helping them. Keeping open communication throughout the year through class discussions and student-teacher meetings helps maintain that rapport you have built. The respect will help students and teachers keep that professional distance needed. Having clear rules and expectations along with consequences will help clear any confusion on what is allowed and what is not okay. I think a part of maintaining professional distance is also connected to a teacher being a role model to the students and showing them how to act appropriately. Also, good qualities for a teacher to gain is self reflection and acception of constructive criticism from students. These qualities will help a teacher improve their classroom in the future.

                                                                                      • Jul 23, 2015 2:38pm

                                                                                        Students need to know up front what the teachers rules and expectations are for the class. These don't have to be explained in a harsh or mean way but followed through with so students don't "run over" the teacher. If a teacher sees their students outside of class and is kind and interested in them I think this goes a long way in building rapport and getting the results you want in class.

                                                                                        • Jul 23, 2015 5:19pm

                                                                                          A new teacher can build a balanced, friendly rapport with students by using his/her personality. Use your distinctive characteristics in order to draw your students to you. Be yourself. And, stay firm and clear about your class rules and procedures. One thing that comes natural for me is to smile. This past school year the staff and students would tell me that they love my smile. My smile let my students know that it was okay to communicate with me. My personality made them want to be around me and take interest in my teaching. Smiling worked for me because it is a big part of my personality. Be true to yourself; do not be afraid to let the students know who you are. They will respect you for it.
                                                                                          ~Byeicha Elliott~

                                                                                          • Jul 23, 2015 6:06pm

                                                                                            Since research confirms that academic achievement and students' behaviors are influenced by the quality of the teacher-student relationship, it is crucial to build a rapport with students that balances friendliness with professional distance. To do so, teachers should establish an open channel of communication while maintaining limits that create a safe environment for fun learning. As a teacher, one should assure students that their well-being, including them growing academically, is your No. 1 priority. After all, the level of concern teachers demonstrate for their students is directly related to the quality of teacher effectiveness in facilitating student learning. Communicate high expectations and allow students to meet with you alone or even in a group to discuss academic and non-academic material. Teachers should want students to feel comfortable with them, but students also need to be reminded of the class rules and standards of behavior, for which they need to take responsibility.

                                                                                            • Jul 23, 2015 8:21pm

                                                                                              Teachers can work to earn respect from their students by setting clear standards and expectations from the beginning of the school year and showing he or she truly cares about the students and wants them to succeed. The students should know they are safe and cared about while also respected by the teacher and respectful themselves. The teacher also needs to set clear boundaries for students and monitor what is said, done, and discussed in class to make sure it's completely appropriate for a classroom.

                                                                                              • Jul 23, 2015 10:38pm

                                                                                                I think that being honest with students helps new teachers to build rapport with students. I'm not talking about personal life things but just saying that I, as a teacher, will make mistakes and so will you as students. I think that letting the students know that you aren't perfect as a person builds respect and it helps them to open up. I also think that it is important that new teachers let their students know that they care about them, far more than just what grades they make. Most students need someone to believe in them and push them where their family may not. While these things definitely go along with the friendliness aspect, the professional distance is equally important. I am a 5 foot 6 inch female who is 22 years old and I want to teach high school history classes, obviously students are going to not consider me a professional based solely off of my looks. This is why it's vital that I, as a teacher, let students know that I mean business. While I do care about them, I also have a job to do and I work my hardest at any job that I'm given. I have to say what I mean and mean what I say.

                                                                                                • Jul 24, 2015 12:58pm

                                                                                                  In my opinion (and this is in no way backed up by experience... just what I have read and accumulated from other teachers) it is absolutely vital to show students that you care about their success. That is to say, your students have to feel like you want them to be successful. This can be tough to do, especially considering the age gap between the teacher and their students, as well as a student's past experiences with a particular subject (I'm looking at you, Math). Teachers have to be on their toes trying to find ways to go out of their way to help their students. It can be very tough and time consuming to really put in the effort to find different methods of teaching and tutoring that connect with different individuals, but in doing so it can make a child's time in your classroom that much better, and they are much more receptive to learning. This, mixed with a fair and balanced system within the classroom and a little bit of common sense can go a very long way.

                                                                                                  • Jul 24, 2015 9:47pm

                                                                                                    They don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Everyone has heard this saying in some setting or another and most know this to be true. In order for our students to have respect for us as a teacher and leader in their lives they have to know we care. There are multiple ways a teacher can show this to their students. It starts with being a good communicator. Communication not only involves speaking to the students in a way they can understand and in a way that makes them feel important but it also involves listening. Hearing a student’s thoughts, concerns, or ideas and truly empathizing with a student allows them to see you value their opinion. This does not mean becoming their best friend. Being able to communicate social information and academic encouragement needs to be balanced with instruction and correction (in academics and behavior). Being able to give constructive criticisms fairly will also allow students to see you have the same expectations for all further building your rapport.

                                                                                                    • Jul 24, 2015 10:41pm

                                                                                                      The teacher can determine student interests and ask them questions about what is interesting to them, such as sports, music, movies, books and many other things. This creates a bond with students which then creates trust that will help build professional student/teacher relationships. After the official relationship is established, the teacher and student can develop a professional trust that could lead to some students excelling in the classroom. If that relationship did not exist, the student may not excel. It is important for the teacher to maintain a professional relationship with their students. It is the responsibility for the teacher to maintain the level of professionalism in and out of school.

                                                                                                      • Jul 24, 2015 10:59pm

                                                                                                        Building rapport with students takes aspects of both friendliness and professional distance. In the beginning, students want to push the limits to see if they can "break" you. They want to see if you will quit. If you can't build a relationship with them, you may.
                                                                                                        To build this relationship, you have to be friendly enough to earn their trust, so they know you are there for them. You also have to be careful you are not too close. If you are too friendly, they will either run all over you, or just lose all respect for you.

                                                                                                        • Oct 20, 2015 1:21pm

                                                                                                          In order to build rapport with students they must feel comfortable and safe in your classroom. They need to know that this area is a safe place for ALL students and that you do actually care about their learning. I think it is important for your students to see you as someone who cares for their students and understands that they are human beings too. I also believe that while you are doing all of this a balance must be maintained where one does not get too close or share inappropriate information with your students. You always need to make sure that you are playing the role of the teacher, not the parent, friend, or counselor. That doesn't mean that you should not help direct them to those people in the appropriate situations.

                                                                                                          • Oct 27, 2015 12:46pm

                                                                                                            In order for teachers build rapport with students, I strongly believe it starts from day one. Students must feel safe, comfortable, and care for. Students must have clear rules and procedures in order to know what is acceptable and what's not. A friendly, caring, bond with students can create a fun, engaging environment with students and parents. Share stories and situations that help students relate, but be cautious of guidelines and boundaries. One example in my case as a new teacher ,I quickly became involved in the school, because I am right out of college and enthused about everything. Parents and students like to see teachers involve outside of just the classroom; like sporting events, fundraising events, etc. I have gained so much respect and trust from parents, families, and community people just from my involvement and dedication within my school.

                                                                                                            • Oct 28, 2015 11:06am

                                                                                                              Rapport in the classroom is extremely important. There are students you may encounter that need a strong support system and need someone to rely on to believe and know that they can be successful, and often times that is the teacher. As an upcoming new teacher, I have not experienced first hand how to create that boundary with student in a relationship. I have learned that communication and respect is crucial. At the beginning of the year, you need to set boundaries with your students and let them now exactly what your expectations are from them that way they are clear of lines that are not to be crossed. Establish a classroom that is comfortable and trusting and make it known that you care about your students and their success. When it comes to rapport, I truly believe communication is key. When you communicate honestly with your students, they will be clear on what crosses professional boundaries.

                                                                                                              • Oct 28, 2015 7:46pm

                                                                                                                I've never been in a classroom as more than just a student until recently and even now it's as a substitute so i researched a little bit on this one and actually found someone who had (in my opinion) a genius idea on how to build rapport with students especially difficult ones. One thing I have learned is to always hold every one of your students on the same level. This includes rules, expectations, standards, and ways and degrees of discipline. To me the discipline area is one of the most important ones because everyone deserves to be disciplined the same amount and the same way. if other students see you show favoritism towards another students you start losing that trust you worked so hard to build. The genius idea was to leave a simple but positive note to the student that you are having issues with. Place the note somewhat hidden from other students so that it wont bring attention to the other students. Michael Linsin is the teacher who wrote the article with this idea and after reading the full thing it makes so much sense. The note should say something truthful and honest because students know when you are feeding them a bunch of nonsense. Keep it simple and say something like "Sam, I'm so glad you are in my Art class this year. I look forward to seeing your many talents grow!" The fact that you singled them out and let them know you care will make a world of difference in the way the student should start acting. It should also start building a great relationship with trust and honesty. The link to the article is below and I highly recommend reading it if you get a free moment. He has a ton of ideas that can be helpful while trying this method.


                                                                                                                Hope this is helpful,
                                                                                                                Stephanie Foreman

                                                                                                                • Oct 29, 2015 11:09am

                                                                                                                  Rapport is one of the hardest things to develop when teaching for the first time. As educators, we have to make sure that the students feel safe in our classroom while also making sure that they feel comfortable with us. One way to develop rapport is to simply to learn each student's name. Being able to refer to each student on an individual level will help to develop a relationship with the students and let them know that you are genuinely trying to get to know them. However, students must have clear boundaries set when developing a student teacher relationship. The teacher must be able to be welcoming to students while also maintaining lines that the students are not allowed to cross. This differs from teacher to teacher but the basics would be maintaining personal space as well as a respectful tone and environment.

                                                                                                                  • Oct 29, 2015 4:15pm

                                                                                                                    When talking about a teacher building rapport with students, one word immediately comes to my mind: consistency. I think the foundation of rapport is consistency. This consistency takes place in both the person of the teacher and the atmosphere of the classroom. If students know what to expect, both in their relationship with the teacher and in their environment, they will immediately begin to feel safe and secure, allowing rapport to build. Teachers should be consistent in their mood, language, and overall personality. If students have to wonder what kind of mood you're going to be in, or if you're going to be loving or hateful today, your rapport will die quickly. However, if students know that no matter what, you're going to be kind, you're going to show respect, and you're going to care, they will immediately begin to trust you. Having consistency in your treatment of all students is huge, too. A teacher who speaks with the same amount of interest and passion to the comic book lover as he or she does the football player will take great steps in establishing rapport. There should also be consistency in the set-up and function of the classroom. It's okay to have some new things, but for the most part, students will be safe and secure if they know what to expect throughout the class period.

                                                                                                                    • Oct 29, 2015 5:48pm

                                                                                                                      Building rapport with students takes time, effort, and optimism. However, keeping the professional relationship along with friendship can be difficult. I loved Kleinfield's term "warm demanders", which describes a relationship style that combines personal interest as well as holding each student accountable. I believe that educators can create a friendly and personal relationship through consistency in greetings, being interested in their involvement with outside activities, and praising each child in a way that suits them individually. According to Wehlage, Rugger, Smith, Lesko, and Fernandez, students will feel genuinely cared for when their teacher accepts responsibility for student success, are persistent in all actions, and a sense of optimism that never fades (1989). With setting certain boundaries such as personal space, free time for friendly chatter, and setting high expectations, a friendly and professional relationship can develop.

                                                                                                                      • Oct 31, 2015 12:06pm

                                                                                                                        I think that 7-12 students struggle with personal identity and feelings of isolation due to their "in-between childhood and adult" status. To build rapport with a student of this age, it is necessary to connect with them on a personal level. This doesn't mean that the teacher must be their "friend" but that he or she shows interest in them as a person and not just as a student. At the beginning of the year, give a special interests quiz that will allow you to peek into each of your students lives and find topics of conversation. Keeping a little file or notebook where you can jot down new information about your students would be helpful, if the circumstances in your classroom allow it. Once you have an idea of "who" they are then you can talk to them and build a mutual understanding. Students are just people and want to feel cared about and important.

                                                                                                                        • Nov 1, 2015 11:06am

                                                                                                                          For a new teacher, thinking of all that can happen on the first day of school can be nerve-racking, but I think it is important to remember that our students may be just as nervous. To ease their nerves, I think smiles are so important. Often, students will smile back and by seeing their smiles, we can feel better about them as well.The other tip I have is to infuse your personality into anything you can. Connect the lesson back to a personal (but professional) story or talk about your own family if you are teaching them about family trees. Share your own stories of struggle so they feel more comfortable when a lesson is challenging. For students to be comfortable with you, they must feel that you are on their side and that you understand them. If you never share who you are, you'll always keep them at a distance.

                                                                                                                          • Nov 1, 2015 3:16pm

                                                                                                                            I feel the best way to establish an appropriated and balanced relationship with your students is consistency. Consistently greet the students at the door with a smile on your face and genuine excitement to be teaching them. Handle any problems in a consistent manner (e.i., always address the problem and deal with it appropriate to the level of infraction). This is demonstrating to them what kind of teacher and person you are, and is ultimately more effective than words.

                                                                                                                            • Nov 1, 2015 3:20pm

                                                                                                                              The students must know that the teacher cares for them and wants what is best for them. This can be communicated in many ways. This can be taking the time to smile at them and say hello to them as they walk in and out of the classroom. This has to include lots of patience with them when they do not understand or when they do something wrong. It has to include protecting them and an understanding of mutual respect. This can be built by simple gestures. You do not have to spill all your personal life to build rapport and understanding.

                                                                                                                              • Nov 1, 2015 7:01pm

                                                                                                                                I believe that building a rapport is extremely important for new teachers. To do this, I think that the students should be able to trust the teacher and feel like they genuinely care about them. I want my students to feel like they can come to me to talk about anything without fear of being judged. While I want to be seen as a type of “friend” to my students, it is necessary that it be in a different context so that I am not the same type of friend to them as a classmate is. I think the key to establishing this is professional distance. If you establish yourself as a professional through rules and expectations from day one then even though you will have a great rapport with your students they will still see you as an authority figure rather than just a typical friend.

                                                                                                                                • Nov 4, 2015 12:07pm

                                                                                                                                  It can be a challenge balancing friendliness with professional distance. I have observed teachers being too friendly and the outcome being that the students lost respect or took advantage of their instructor. I have also observed teachers who are too strict, and student morale or confidence drops. In both cases, student misbehavior can increase, due to either having too much freedom or because students are rebelling against a rigid teacher.

                                                                                                                                  In order to balance friendliness and professionalism, I believe teachers should make it imperative that they show a genuine interest and concern for each student. Stand at the door and greet them as they walk into your class. Express interest in their extracurricular activities and a desire for them to do well in class so that they can continue those activities. Make an effort to learn about your students. Be consistent and treat each student fairly. Laugh a little. Be respectful to students and their different backgrounds. Ensure that the students have a way of contacting their teacher at any time.

                                                                                                                                  However, it is also important to establish boundaries. Set clear rules and routines and enforce them. Don't express anger or frustration when a student breaks the rules; simply refer back to the classroom procedures and follow through with consequences without dwelling on the issues. Make sure students understand what is appropriate classroom discussion and what won't be tolerated. Do not make exceptions for any students. To reiterate, be fair. Furthermore, be firm.

                                                                                                                                  A teacher who can control their class with a sense of friendliness, fun, yet firmness and consistency will probably have a healthy and balanced rapport with their students.

                                                                                                                                  • Feb 13, 2016 1:56pm

                                                                                                                                    While working with students one on one it's great time to establish a rapport with that student. All it takes is asking one question about them. It shows that you care.

                                                                                                                                    • Feb 14, 2016 5:46pm

                                                                                                                                      Focus on the content of the curriculum with enthusiasm. Be fun in the teacher led discussions. Praise for Growth Mindset. (Then the respect comes... don't work for it, work for them by being a great teacher).