Tips for Teachers: Developing a Positive Teacher-Student Relationship

The teacher-student relationship is one of great importance, but all too often today with increasing class sizes, over-extended roles required by teachers, and an ever-growing focus on assessment-driven learning, this can sometimes be overlooked.

However, the fact remains that a high-quality teacher with whom students share a positive relationship cannot be overstated.  I remember those teachers in my life who really took a genuine interest in my learning, development, and experience in school.  Unfortunately, I also recall those who tended toward curt remarks and unapproachable attitudes.  Nonetheless, it was those caring teachers who made school and learning enjoyable, attainable, and worthwhile.

7 tips for teachers to encourage a positive relationship with their students:

1.    Meet each child at their individual starting level.  This will allow for the development of an understanding and trusting relationship.  Recognize gains and gradually increase with the child’s pace.
2.    Encourage your students to ask for help.  When help is requested, attend as soon as possible to the child and acknowledge your delight in him seeking assistance.
3.    Focus on and verbalize daily those positive qualities you notice.  Good qualities to recognize include manners, tenacity, helpfulness, conscientiousness, positive attitude, and organization.
4.    Make known your pleasure in him trying.   Praise a positive effort, and in response to an incorrect answer, minimize any humiliation by stating, “That was a good try.”
5.    Point out when they’re right.  Conversely, when a correct answer is made, point out this accomplishment to the class as a whole.
6.    When giving feedback on work, always begin with a positive statement (however small it may be).  Children will be more receptive to constructive feedback when it begins positively and comes from a caring place.
7.    Spend time talking with your students about their thoughts of school, hobbies, friends, and family.   Your attempts to get to know them beyond their attendance and test performance will not go unnoticed.

Looking for ways to talk to your child’s teacher?  Download your copy of our FREE Parent/Teacher Conference and Learning Disabilities Checklist.