Why is establishing rapport important?
Establishing rapport with students is important as it encourages higher motivation.
When students generally feel rapport with their teachers and feel that their teacher's personalities are similar to their own, motivation is higher. This will lead to an enhanced understanding and sometimes trust is necessary for rapport to develop.
The teacher has a wealth of techniques and tools at their disposal to develop and maintain excellent rapport with their students.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Barry P.
Building Rapport is An Important Factor in Teaching
A new teacher is most likely going to be teaching a class or group of students who are established and well known to each other. The teacher is in essence the newcomer and as such needs to create a first impression which should include good eye contact, positive body language, exuding presence thus commanding control and respect, demonstrating empathy, confidence, trust, humility, humor, be a clear and concise orator to name but a few qualities.
An important factor of building rapport will be, to be yourself, be friendly but authoritative, show real interest, find common ground, give genuine compliments, be mindful of established culture.
A Good Rapport Increases Student Engagement
Students will respond far better if they feel comfortable, are stimulated, involved, valued, feel as if they are treated equally but given special attention when required.
Using the wide range of techniques and tools available, alongside their personal interpersonal skills, students will remain stimulated. The use of tools and techniques need to be varied frequently so students remain attentive and further stimulated. Variety is the spice of life.
By getting to know each student’s name and a more about them individually will allow the relationship and therefore rapport to develop. Once a teacher fully understands his student’s individual personalities, characteristics and abilities, it will be more beneficial in assisting the teacher to decide on a learning plan not just for the group but also the specific requirements of each student.
Rapport Makes it Easier To Identify Weaknesses
The teacher should also be better placed to identify should a student or students start to fall behind or have difficulties with their learning. Hopefully swiftly identifying if any such issues are within their ability and control to address or whether external assistance is required. With pubescent students, mood changes and attitudes are likely to be volatile whereas, younger group’s moods and attitudes will generally be more temperate.
An important part of the rapport building for the teacher, is to make themselves approachable and available. There is also a time and a place for the teacher to make fun of them self which demonstrates that there is a warm, humorous person inside the teacher’s persona and that they are prepared to put themselves on the same level as the student.
Identifying Rapport between the Students
It is also beneficial that a teacher understands which students do not have a good rapport with each other. By being aware, and using their established rapport position with the students involved, they will be able to use their skills in encouraging greater interaction between those students. A harmonious classroom with minimum levels of drama, acrimony and bad feelings amongst students will ensure a far greater vibrancy in the classroom which will benefit all students, making the teacher’s role a little easier and reduce the amount of wasted time.
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In summary, establishing good rapport with students will help shape students on their journey to become excellent learners.
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