Why Good Student-Teacher Rapport is Essential in a Classroom
In this essay, I would like to discuss the reasons I think good student-teacher rapport is of utmost importance in the classroom and dealing with classroom management. I will not only discuss my experience as a language learner but also use examples from the videos which we analyzed in this course. As I have not yet stepped foot inside an EFL classroom I will not, unfortunately, be able to speak about direct EFL experience that I have.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Paul S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
In my opinion, student-teacher rapport is essential for a teacher to avoid any discipline issues that may arise in the classroom. When I learned French our teacher treated us as though we were incapable of learning and language, she didn’t respect us, and she would get very angry and frustrated when we didn’t understand the specific grammar point she was trying to teach. We then, in turn, acted out and misbehaved a lot in class. There were always a lot of discipline issues and that prevented us from progressing and learning. At school, we were always in the same classroom and only the teacher changed, we remained in our places.
Attention and Interest
We had an incredible Maths teacher who always took five minutes at the beginning of the class to check in on us to see how we were, regarding school and home life. He took an interest in us and we reacted to how he treated us. Now I see that this activity would have been more suitable in my French class to get us practicing and revising language that we had already learned. I believe that if you treat people with respect, they will show you respect in return, the EFL classroom will be no different. I hope that by taking an interest in my students’ lives and interests we will build a good relationship and have zero discipline issues and a well-managed classroom.
In the videos that we analyzed, I think it is clear that good student-teacher rapport is also essential for your lesson to run as smoothly as possible. There was an obvious difference in my opinion between how the students reacted to the teacher in the first and the second video. I was a Project Manager on a construction site and it has always been important for me to know my staff members’ names. It shows a sign of respect but also, if the site was busy, I needed to know their names so I could call them from afar.
This is also the case in an EFL classroom, you need to know your students’ names to manage the classroom well and not waste time asking students their names or not knowing anything about them or what interests them. In the first video, not only did the teacher not know his students’ names but also didn’t use them even though they were written on their desks. He pointed at specific students when he wanted them to answer, which in some cultures can be seen as rude and disrespectful. He also used activity in the Activate stage that didn’t interest the students and in turn, there was mismanagement. In the second video, it was clear that once these issues are dealt with you will have a well-managed classroom and happy students.
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To conclude, for a classroom to be well managed a teacher must build students’ trust by making an effort to take an interest in their lives. This can help reduce or eradicate discipline issues and promote learning.
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