Right at the outset let me state that the ways in which one may connect with children are limited only by imagination. Nevertheless when one is new to a class, certain things may aid in establishing the positive relationship which is every teacher’s be-all and end-all. What is the most significant aspect of teaching profession? What do most mentors focus on? Well, easily, it’s the relation between teacher and her students. The reasons are several, least of which is not that a teacher should come out as approachable as humanly possible. So, here are somethings from our list:
- Smile: It all begins by the feeling of love toward them. It is essential to manifest that love toward them and the simplest way to do so is to SMILE. Imagine, students walk into your class and see you smiling. No welcome can be beat this one. Regularly meeting you with a grin on your face makes them feel welcome and they will look forward to your smile, love and by extension your classes. Another helpful thing is compassionate acts. This could be directed toward students or any other person. Research has proven that children have an affinity toward people who appear fair and compassionate. Both of these ways, apart from making your class better will make you a better person too. And isn’t that wonderful!
- Being open minded: Shel Silverstein once said, “what you have got to say, you say” and this is what most students want from their teacher. Allowing students to voice their opinion matters. Creating an atmosphere where there are no barriers to expression makes a class more productive. Also, this lets you an insight into what goes on into your student’s mind. It’s not imperative to discuss only relevant topics. You could talk to them about current affairs or something that interests them; their favorite shows, songs, a story, may be. The result? You will know your students better. This knowledge can be used when you devise your activities and lesson plans.
- Make them the choosers: This is an extension of the earlier point. It can work wonders when a little negotiation is allowed between teachers and students. Once in a while let them choose what topic or subject to study, how to go about a particular activity, how long to take, etc. There are two benefits, one that once you make them responsible they will be more consenting and another that they will enjoy the class. Instilling a sense of control into them will make them aware that they are PRESENT in this class, hence be more attentive.
- The first five Minutes: Talk. No, really. Talk to them. Nobody loves it when all you do is teach, even if your approach is an excellent one. So when your little bundles of joy walk into the class, have a fun talk with them. At this point you will notice the eagerness children are blessed with. Reciprocate that excitement by talking to them about their day. Most important benefits here would be; logically enough, they will know you are available and all the anxiety will be drained right at the start, hence they will be fresh to begin learning. Over a period of time, know them and let them know you.
- Be a child: Well I agree this is every bit vague but that’s the point you see. It’s wonderful to sit with them and listen to what they are saying WITHOUT INTERRUPTION. Listening to them lets them know that they are recognized and recognition, I say from experience, has magical potential. It gives you immense powers. When you know you are known by the person you are talking to, you are better able to voice your opinions. This is what will come naturally to you because 7 or 70, we all have that inner child religiously following pleasure principal. So enjoy with your students with the same joy as they do. Long story short, GO WITH THE FLOW!
All in all, once you become a teacher the bond you develop with your children itself will suggest which direction to pursue. Some ways may work more than others. What needs to be remembered is that you too are learning! Have a peaceful life ahead.