While building relationships with students can be difficult, sometimes confusing and often time-consuming, it’s more than worth the results. Students that have built great relationships with their teacher, and feel supported by them, are far more likely to succeed. Not to mention, they’re far more likely to be passionate about the things you teach them.

Some of the best benefits of a great relationship with your students include:
  • Better understanding and empathy when it comes to helping them achieve their goals and dreams
  • Mutual respect on both sides, making learning easier
  • A more enjoyable experience of school for everyone involved

In school, forming a great relationship with the students you teach is win-win. According to ThoughtCo, not only does it help to maximize student’s learning potential, but it also provides them with safety and trust to allow them to grow and make mistakes. At such a crucial part of their lives, allowing for that support and respect is vital to help them to thrive. For some teachers, creating those bonds is entirely effortless – but that isn’t quite true for the rest of us out there.

So, what can we do to build better relationships for those that can’t quite get there naturally? Here are four tips to get you started:

1.  Take time to get to know your students, and be genuine

Forcing a relationship rarely works in any walk of life. So there’s no reason why the same wouldn’t apply for the classroom, too. Michele Rose, an experienced teacher and YouTuber, finds that being genuine can pave the way to better relationships – and taking the time to get to know your students is an essential part of that. Sitting down with a student for one-on-one time can enable you to get to know them in an organic way – something that can’t be achieved with forced interaction.

2. Be consistent with structure and boundaries

Contrary to what children themselves believe, students do best when they have specific structures and boundaries in place. In the case of the classroom, this means offering engaging learning experiences and a safe environment for their students to learn. Gaining the respect of your students, and a positive relationship with them needs a solid foundation. By setting boundaries and expectations, you’re providing that basis for growth.

3. Be positive, but be human

Often, it’s all too easy for teachers to go too far one way or another. Either you’re relentlessly cheerful, and you’re cynical and strict. Stop putting on an act with your students, and they’ll soon appreciate your teaching and you as a person.

Positivity is always welcome, but forcing it doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Instead, focus on being approachable, personable, and a real person to your students, and your relationships will soon blossom.

4. Treat your students like individuals

With so many children to teach, it can be easy to think of your students at one entity. But each student is a person with their own likes, dislikes, and dreams. By getting to know your students and individuals, you can better connect with them. Knowing their favorite sport, most-loved color, or even the pets that they have at home can be a great way to open conversation and show that you care.

Of course, you don’t need to know everything off the top of your head; keeping a few notes can be helpful to this process. But overall, treating your students as actual humans goes a long way towards earning their respect, and making them interact with you more.

How do you engage with your students and build better relationships with your class?