Teach English in CAngji Zhen - Suqian Shi

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The importance of building rapport What’s building rapport? Building rapport is the connection that is built between people, the bond that forms when people find out that they have shared interests. It is the basis of meaningful, close and harmonious connections between people. It is the sense of connection you experience when you get to meet a new person you instantly like and trust. (Linda Tickle-Degnen and Robert Rosenthal, 1990) Building self-esteem in oneself and others by creating a warm, honest and sincere human relationship is described as one of the essentials of building rapport. This seems to be fairly easy when it comes to friends, family, and people who are familiar in some kind of way. Yet, it seems to be very challenging when it comes to building rapport with students. Building rapport takes hard work, concentration, and commitment. (Wittler, Penny S. Hasse; Martin, Margaret Hill, 2004) Why is building rapport with students so important, and how does one do it? According to Marzano (1992), students need a positive atmosphere and attitude towards learning for them to learn efficiently. This is described as the first dimension of learning, and without these positive components, learning can be compromised. It is the responsibility of the teacher to make the very first experience a positive one. It is also important for the students to have a space in which they can make mistakes without being judged, as this is how they best learn and develop. The first impression is always important. The way you make students feel in the very first class, sets the tone for your future relationship together, and influences how they will feel about coming to class the next day (and sets the tone for your future relationship together). It sets how the collaboration between the student and the teacher will go from that moment on forward. Trust can be created in that very first moment. When the student learns to trust their teacher, the learning environment is more likely to be experienced as fun and safe. This is very important as it becomes a place in which they get challenged and they’ll be asked to be vulnerable. There are various factors which need to be considered when a teacher is hoping to build rapport with new students in their class. Firstly, it’s useful to understand the needs of every student and how much personal support they require. Sharing information about oneself helps children relate to their teacher and in turn can break down barriers, create bonds and make their teacher more relatable. Making notes of what is important to certain students may help a teacher to remember details about them which can be used later as a way to connect. Lastly, when writing feedback for students on assignments and activities, it is important to make the feedback individualized. (General Categories of What the Best Teachers Do, after Bain, 2004) Research has shown that social presence is being described as the major component of rapport-building in online learning environment. (University of North Texas College of Information, 2013) Social presence can be seen as something which is hard in an online learning environment, but it can be created with something as easy as the use of emoticons and addressing students by name. (Aragon, 2003) Lastly it is important to build rapport with students equally, you don’t want to have favourites in the classroom, by having favourites you make other students feel excluded. It’s also important to always keep your role in mind, don’t become best friends, but build good rapport with students. References Aragon, S. R. (2003). Creating social presence in online environments. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 100, 57-68. Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Linda Tickle-Degnen and Robert Rosenthal. (1990). The Nature of Rapport and Its Nonverbal Correlates Vol. 1, No. 4 (1990), pp. 285-293 Marzano, Robert J. (1992) Different Kind of Classroom University of North Texas College of Information, 2013 Wittler, Penny S. Hasse; Martin, Margaret Hill (2004). Student and Teacher Rapport: An Essential Element for Effective Teaching