Four Tips To Build Rapport And Accelerate Learning

My teaching colleagues would often speak of “difficult students,” which was code for a troublemaker. Typically, this title was reserved for continually disruptive students who refused to take traditional correction. Such defiance and mutual distrust rarely led to productive learning.

In all my years of teaching, I had students who were challenges, but I never really had a student who refused to learn from me. Even if they couldn’t control their impulses, I always received a degree of respect and effort they rarely gave to other teachers. My secret? Rapport building.

Rapport building is basically establishing a relationship with another human being. As a teacher, it’s critical to build a degree of rapport with each and every student, especially if discipline is necessary. If you have a relationship with a student, they’re more likely to accept discipline, learn from it, and move forward in a manner that allows learning.

Rapport building is surprisingly easy. Here are four helpful tips to build rapport with students

One: Take an interest in them

This is as easy as paying attention. Ask them how they’re doing or even just say hello when you see them. Many young people have no one inquire about them or their welfare on a daily basis. Let them know you’re an exception.

Two: Find their passion

Find out what makes them tick outside of your academic specialty. Most kids aren’t excited about school subjects. Get them talking about their passion and show them you are interested. Find a way to tie your subject to their passion. You’ll find they’ll care more about the subject and respect you in ways you never imagined.

Three: Meet their Needs

Kids are fairly transparent about their needs. If a kid isn’t eating lunch due to no money, find a way to help him. If someone is crying, listen to her. Don’t cross ethical boundaries, but remember that young people often have difficult lives with no outlets. Be an outlet or a source of kindness for them.

Four: Personalize assignments and discipline

One size doesn’t fit all. A kid with serious issues may need more leeway and flexibility, both with how you handle assignments and even discipline. By showing you know each person and treat him or her as an individual, you are building trust. Obviously, you have to be consistent and fair across the board; but, you can be flexible too.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Building rapport with students is a critical first step towards earning respect and getting them excited about learning in your classroom.

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is an administrator, author, and speaker with a background in teaching. His articles receive over a million hits per year and have appeared in a variety of publications. He is co-owner of the small business Theta Hill, and he also writes for The Popular Teen, The Popular Man and other sites.