Some teachers believe that it is enough to deliver a lesson in accordance with the academic program and a lesson plan, and building warm and trust-based relationships with students is nonsense and waste of time. However, if children feel that connection with the teacher, they are more motivated to learn new material and are more engaged in the lesson activities. Below, there are several tips on how to build a good rapport with young learners to make English lessons more productive.
Don’t be too strict
There should always be the golden mean between following school and class rules and allowing young students to do what they want. Don’t try to frighten or raise voice at them but control what you say. Present the rules, and follow them. However, remember, that there should be a certain distance between a teacher and students. Don’t tell children too personal of compromising information.
Try to memorize students’ names from the first lesson or offer them wearing badges during the first weeks of studies if you have a bad memory for names. Show interest in students’ matters: what music they listen to, what movies and animated cartoons they watch, what they do in their free time and what hobbies they have. It is easy to get to know this information during mingle and speaking activities and using different quizzes. Apply this information while planning lessons and students will appreciate that.
Moreover, spend a couple of minutes before or after the lesson to talk with children. Children do like talking about what they did at the weekends, their relatives and friends. If they feel you are interested in their life, they will like you and your lessons.
Don’t be afraid of making a mistake in your class
It is perfectly OK not to know something. If you confess of committing an error, students won’t be afraid of making mistakes themselves. For children, it is important to feel safe in class and to know that their teacher is not a robot.
Do not lie to your students. In case they ask some inconvenient questions, say that you are not the right person to ask. However, if students are not afraid of asking you different kinds of questions, that means that you have built good relationships with them.
Support and praise the students
In case young students show their interest in learning English or in a certain in-class activity, support them. Do not compare students with each other, concentrate on the achievements they make and compare with the results they had in the past. In this article there is more information on motivating young students.
Be a person to rely on
Always have respect for promises. Provided that you promised singing a song at the end of the lesson for good behaviour and productive work, stick to your words even if there is lack of time. Otherwise, students won’t believe you and won’t follow the rules you offer them.
Hope that these recommendations will help you to build trustworthy warm relationships with your students. Share your ideas on the topic in the comments!