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

Teacher Tip Number 24: Rapport

You have to 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 that you are also a real person.

Tell them interesting stories, tell them jokes (Now and then – 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.

Teacher Tip Number 25: Be an Adult

Don’t take things personally. Be an adult and 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 not supposed 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 that you will forgive them if they apologize.

Teacher Tip Number 26: Teacher 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 to 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 bit 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.’

Teacher Tip Number 27: 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. When students are bullied, they won’t learn as well. 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 Number 28: 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 won’t be as focused and 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 a very good skill for teachers to learn early on.

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