Building respect between students and teachers and between student peers is an important part of the work that is done in the classroom. In the article Relationships and Rapport: “You Don’t Know Me Like That” author Gabriel “Asheru” Benn shares the following classroom practices that build rapport and respect:
- Develop a shared standard for learning in the classroom and implement a variety of methods to achieve the goal. Acknowledge that everyone is capable of learning. Have students articulate ways they could show that they have met the goal. Allow room for flexibility in the learning path.
- Engage with your students. Host office hours or learning lunches. Share your own experiences (as appropriate).
- Be okay being out of the loop. Some educators believe that the more you are one of the students, the more likely they are to respect you. That is not always the case. Don’t try to be hip or in the know on everything or one of the folks. Be the adult in the room. They will respect that.
- Teach for content mastery. Set rigorous expectations and hold every student to the expectation. This tells students that you believe in them and want the very best for them.
- Recognize the best qualities of your students. Build on their strengths as much as possible.
- Read the room and know the room. Get to know your students and your work so well that you will instantly recognize when something is not quite right in the room. Once you have pinpointed the issue, address it gently and move forward to resolution.
As you prepare for your classes next week, think about how these practices play out in your classroom. Be mindful and intentional as you work to develop relationships. You and your students will be glad you did!