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100 Teacher Tips #24-28 | Create Rapport | Be an Adult | Teacher Expectations | Respect | Downtime

    Tip 24: Teacher-Student Rapport

    Get to know your students and take an interest in their lives. Let the students know that you care about them and their well-being. Also share some parts of your own life to show them you are also a real person.

    Tell them interesting stories, tell them jokes (Never be a clown or comedian.) Ask students about what is happening in their lives to share themselves with you. Create rapport with them. When students like a teacher, they put in more effort.

    Tip 25: Be an Adult

    Don’t take things personally. Be the adult in the class. Understand that there might be other reasons for poor student behavior that you might not know about. Growing up is tough. There are many reasons why students act out or do things out of character.

    As the teacher and the adult in the room, you’re supposed not to take things personally. Understand that things happen, attack their behavior but not the students. Also, give them some rope at times, tell them it’s okay, you know everybody makes mistakes. So, accept apologies and tell them you will forgive them if they apologize.

    Tip 26: Set Expectations

    Have great expectations of your students, then let them live up to it. The worst thing a teacher can do is to look down on students, saying that they’re unable to do something, or that they’re dumb. That’s the last thing you should do.

    As a teacher, you should have high expectations of your students and you want to help them get there. From the very first day tell them, “Listen guys, I think you can do amazing things if we work hard and put in the effort. If we do things right, you can achieve those high goals that I’ve set for you.”

    Rather, make them a little higher than you usually would, so that they can at least aim for something. What is that expression? ‘Aim for the stars. If you miss, at least, you’ll hit the moon.’

    Tip 27: Mutual Respect

    Demand mutual respect in your classroom. Students have to respect you and one another. When students don’t respect you, they won’t work in class. If they don’t respect each other, that might lead to bullying and some nasty exchanges in the classroom. Students who are bullied, won’t learn as well as they should. So you want students to respect each other and to respect you. As a teacher, you should also respect your students, so you should treat them in a fair and consistent way.

    When I first started teaching, I met a teacher who referred to her students as ladies and gentlemen. When I asked her why, she said: “If I call them ladies and gentlemen, I expect them to behave that way.” I’ve taken it for myself too, so now I call my (older) students ladies and gentlemen because I expect them to respect each other and me. You want to enforce mutual respect in your classroom.

    Teacher Tip 28: Limit Downtime

    Limit downtime between activities and transition smoothly. What you want to do is have a very fluid class. You want to move from one activity to the next without downtime in between. This is because, during downtime, students might get bored and do something they shouldn’t. They will lose focus and then it is difficult to get their attention back to the task at hand.

    If there is a break in momentum, it is difficult to get them refocused. Instead, you want to have your classes planned, with very little downtime between the activities. Quickly move on to the next activity, especially with young learners. Keep them busy with one activity following to the next. This is an excellent skill for teachers to learn early on.

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