The Benefits of Having Good Rapport with Students
It is important to establish rapport with students within a classroom for a variety of reasons, it builds trust between students and teacher, insights confidence in students and allows for a fun learning environment. All aspects of teaching require a teacher to have some sort of rapport with students. Students will retain more information and do better in classes when the teacher is engaged and shows love for their job as well as an interest in their students. Most students will not learn well from a teacher who comes to class, does not greet the students let alone knows their names and just reads through the lesson without showing any interest whatsoever. It is far more beneficial for a teacher to have a good rapport with his/her students as it will make not only learning more enjoyable for the students, but teaching will become more enjoyable for the teacher as well.
This post was written by our ITTT graduate Kelly F.
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No Rapport = Classroom Disruptions
Trust between the teacher and the student is crucial as there is a lot of time that is spent in the classroom. Students need to be able to feel that they trust what the teacher is teaching them and trust that the teacher wants them to succeed.
A teacher that has a bad attitude or little to no rapport will not be an effective vessel of learning for students as the students will most likely not trust or respect the teacher. This makes learning difficult for the rest of the class. Students need to be able to trust that the teacher has his/her students’ best interest in mind when teaching lessons.
If a teacher chooses favorites in class, does not follow through with disciplinary actions or makes promises that he/she never keeps, students may view these actions as untrustworthy and will give less respect to the teacher. This could lead to more classroom disruptions and thus less learning.
Also read: Top Time Fillers for an EFL Classroom
Good Rapport = Confident Students
Another important reason to have a good rapport with students is that especially in an ESL classroom where confidence may be lacking, students need to feel safe and secure. A teacher that shows no interest in his/her students will only show students that he/she does not care enough about their students and is just trying to get through the lessons. Many students will already walk into an ESL classroom feeling less confident as this is a completely new realm of learning and vulnerability for them (this may be more true for older children and adults rather than young learners).
A teacher must have a good rapport with his/her students in order to build confidence within them to attempt to speak a new language even if they need help with it at first. They need to feel like it is okay for them to make mistakes and to look to their teacher for guidance. A teacher who pokes fun at student pronunciation or refuses to assist a student when asked may show students that he/she does not care or respect the class.
This could lead students to reciprocate the disrespect and can lead to classroom disruptions. It could also lead to students refusing to attempt to try because of fear of failure due to the lack of confidence created in the classroom.
Also read: The 5 Most Common Types of EFL Students And How To Deal With Them
Good Rapport = Fun Classroom Environment
Lastly, it is important to have a good rapport with students as it creates a fun classroom environment. When students feel like their teacher is happy about coming to class it, in turn, makes them feel happy about coming to class. Generally, the teacher’s attitude will translate onto the students.
Teachers who give off the impression that they hate their job, their students, or teaching in general, will only make their students uncomfortable and tense in the classroom. Although learning can take place in rigid and tense situations, it is in more flexible and fun environments that learning really takes shape and student goals are met.
Also read: Top Mistakes to Avoid in the Classroom While Teaching English Abroad
Good Rapport is Essential
Teachers need not be best friends with each student in his/her classroom but building relationships and rapport with students is a large part of teaching in general and the greater rapport built with students, the greater their learning.
If a teacher’s greatest goals are to help their students achieve their learning potential, then showing concern and building confidence and trust in the classroom is a small feat to accomplish. We as teachers need to have our students excited to learn and to come to class and we need to build a good rapport with our students in the process.
Also read: Getting Student Placement Right - The Best Desk Arrangements for EFL Students
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