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Teaching English is a challenging yet rewarding career. There are many obstacles that a teacher might face and therefore one must be patient, friendly, and adaptable to change. As with teaching any subject it is important to get to know the students that you are teaching. There are many ways in which to build rapport with your students and there are many benefits that can be gained from having a good and healthy relationship with your students as well. In my prior career I was a paramedic. In my field it was very important to build rapport with my patients. I often would only have thirty minutes or less with each person, so I had to learn how to quickly build rapport with them. I would also train new paramedics in the field and it was challenging at times to both teach and care for patients at the same time. There are several things that I learned from my experience and that I will carry with me into teaching English. First, always wear a smile as much as possible. As soon as people see a smiling face it can help them to relax and feel more comfortable. Reducing stress while learning is important and will improve the student’s ability to learn. Second, never use language that is above the person or persons current level of understanding. This can make others feel inferior and they may be less likely to participate in the class and can start to feel left out. Third, be patient, friendly, and understanding. Not everyone will have the same level of understanding and capacity to learn. Some students will pick up on topics very quickly while others may take longer to process and integrate the information that they are learning. This can be frustrating to both sets of students as well as for the teacher. Having good rapport will help you to be able to encourage those who are struggling and to even let the stronger students assist the weaker ones with the topics that they are struggling with. Lastly, showing a true interest in the student’s lives and wanting them to learn the material will make a large impact in the student’s willingness to participate in class. I have spent many years in the education system and at times have had teachers that did not seem to care to know my name or anything about me. They also did not have much interest in whether I was grasping the material or not. These factors made learning much more challenging, especially when trying to learn a difficult subject. In contrast I have had teachers who have acted in the complete opposite way. These teachers would play ice breaking games and use warmers in class. The class would get to know each other and so would the teacher. These rapport building tools made the classroom much more vibrant and exciting to be a part of. There was much less stress and we were eager to see our teacher each class period. The environment was light and supported learning. I also felt that when I needed assistance with a certain topic that my teacher was easily accessible, and I could go talk to him or her whenever I needed. I tended to do much better in classes where the teachers tried to build rapport with the students. In conclusion, among all the factors that come into play while teaching I believe that building rapport with students is one of the most important. It is always worth the time it takes to get to know your students and to build a healthy relationship with them. They will appreciate it greatly and it will build an environment that is supportive to learning.