The first quarter of the school year is over. The honeymoon stage of the new school year is over too. Students have settled into their schools and teachers know their students pretty well. The excitement of the new school year is over and now the work has truly begun. As teachers begin to hit their stride, they must remember three questions that they should be ready to answer for their students at moment’s notice.
Question 1: Can I trust you?
Most of what teaching is about is trust. Can the student trust the teacher? Can the students trust that the teacher will have their best interest in mind? The teacher must be able to demonstrate to their students that they are trustworthy. Teachers, if you want to earn your students’ trust, you must remember these three things: be real, be available, be there. Being real is essential because they will see right through the phony and the fake. If you cannot be real, then honestly I do not know if education is for you. Being available is about being there if your students need to talk to you. Teachers, it is crucial to have time to be available to students. Finally, be there. As a teacher, your students want to know that you will be at their debate match or their basketball game, or if someone in their family passes away, you need to be there at the funeral. Your students notice the times when you are there for them.
Question 2: Do you care about me?
A good teacher is a teacher who cares. Students value trust and they also value a teacher who cares. There is plenty of research that suggests that a relationship between student and teacher that is caring will foster higher academic achievement amongst students. You want to prove you care about your students then follow these three steps: know their lives, listen to them, and get their feedback. If you know your students come from a different background than you then it is imperative that you learn about their background. A student’s home life and upbringing can shed plenty of light on unanswered questions in regards to their learning. Visit their neighborhood to see where your students spend their time to get a deeper appreciation for who they are. As a teacher, it is essential to listen to your students actively. Actively listening allows you to understand better the meaning behind precisely what your students are asking. Also, be sure to check that you fully understand what they are saying. Finally, ask for their feedback. When a teacher asks for a student’s feedback, this signals to the student that the teacher cares about what they have to say. When you consider their feedback, the teacher is showing students they are a part of this process and they feel comfortable to ask questions.
Question 3: Do you believe?
Trust and care are vital to the relationship between teacher and student; however, I believe that there is nothing more valuable than the teacher’s belief. As a teacher, you must be able to honestly and truly believe that your students can succeed. This is one of the most important attributes of any teacher. Teachers, you want to know a simple way to show your students you believe in them you can say to them “I believe in you” it goes a long way.
If you are a teacher, can you answer these questions?