Why Building Rapport is So Incredibly Important For Teachers
Every single person who wants to be a teacher needs to develop some skills such as being creative, respectful, good listener, motivate students and dominate the subject if he/she desire to become a proficient teacher, however, any of these will not be enough in a class if the teacher is not able to gain the students’ trust, and this will certainly happen if this person can establish rapport with the students as well as to help them to establish it between each other, to create a good environment and the class flows properly.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Carlos E. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
A teacher, who can establish rapport, will have the possibility to develop a more effective class because the students will feel confident and less scared to participate during the activities, if we encourage a good environment during class, the students will feel safe and they will not be nervous when they need to make a questions about a particular topic or when they need more clarification about what is being taught. A good rapport with students can also make the class funnier and make them get involved faster with dynamic activities or games. Also, it can help students feel the class as a rewarding experience with a small congratulation when they participate, this kind of actions make them feel proud about their progress and will keep them engage with the class. Personalization is a helpful tool to establish rapport, stuff like go to class earlier to talk with the students, sit close to them and change our sit often are some approaches to show yourself as a person whom they can trust in and they will see in their teacher a reliable person, who is there to help them and not to make them feel embarrassed.
It is important to know that establishing rapport is not an easy task and this process may vary according to the group, adult groups, for example, are more motivated to learn and the process will be easier, on the other hand, younger groups are probably more reluctant and we may need to make things like to have a nice eye contact, give clear instructions and smile regularly to accomplish it. The first class is essential to establish rapport and an ice breaker activity will be needed, however, this process should be reinforced class by class, especially when you try to help students to establish rapport between them. In this case, we should consider trying things such as making seat arrangements, change their pair frequently and get them to help and correct each other. These kinds of strategies encourage the students to know and trust in their classmates, keep them motivated, help them to be more autonomous, develop their capacity to solve problems by themselves, and even improve their teamwork skills and make them more responsible and committed.
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To sum up, it is necessary to establish rapport because it helps the students to leave behind all their fears and their work on class will be better, it will also create a safe and healthy environment where the students will have the chance to get involved easily, they will see in their teacher a trustworthy person who is there to help them. Establishing rapport can be a hard process, however, in every class we can apply some strategies to do it, especially to encourage rapport between students and as a result, we will see a big difference in them individually and as members of a team, it will be gratifying.
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