Establishing Rapport Establishing rapport with students is

Establishing rapport with students is established from the very first lesson. Each individual teacher will establish a unique impression with the students by the way they present themselves to a class and how they initially create the class environment. However, building rapport is not a one time event. It should continue throughout the duration of the entire course. Building rapport means that time is spent developing a positive relationship based upon mutual enjoyment of activities and cooperation over the period of time teaching.

There are many ways for a teacher to establish rapport with students and this must start before the class or term begins. A teacher should be organised and prepared, not only for the course and its material but also about the students themselves. Even without having met the students a teacher is able to gather information such as the demograph of students, age, culture and also should be aware of the rules and regulations of the school itself. Being professionally organised will demonstrate to the students that there is an essentially serious side to the lessons alongside the more fun activities a teacher can introduce.

Once the course is due to commence the teacher faces one of the biggest challenges whereby the teacher and students will be introduced to each other for the first time. One of the keys to establishing a good rapport with students is the power of observation. To observe your students will give you insight into their knowledge of the subject at hand, their personality, the way they interact with others and their expectations of you as their teacher, mentor and provider. To learn something about a student is the process of getting to know them. The more you know about them the more you can engage them and therefore they will also get to know you.

Teachers can prepare ice-breaker ideas before the class commences and it's a good idea to use these in the first class. It is during this time that a teacher will begin to gain students trust and can demonstrate an open and safe environment. A teacher will also be able to assess the stronger and weaker students at this time.

During the initial classes and at the beginning of each new subject a teacher can get the students thinking and talking about the course material. A teacher should go through the 'basics' during the first lesson such as contact details (to let the students know how and when they can contact you ' this provides a controlled open environment), the course syllabus, grading and hours of study to name a few. A way to empower your students is to have them interact and assist you in setting the course structure. This will also demonstrate both the teacher's and students' needs and expectations.

Once the initial introductions and ice breakers have been performed and the students understand what is expected of them the teacher can start to explain and demonstrate their style of teaching. A good teacher should encourage questions and this helps in sustaining an open environment.

Building and sustaining a rapport with students will dramatically improve your effectiveness as a teacher. Projecting yourself into the students' situation will enable a teacher to be empathetic and understanding and use positive reinforcement to challenge your students to achieve their highest level of performance.


University of Kentucky ' website

Special Connections (education) ' website

Thompson Higher Education ' website

Psychological Science Organisation - website