“Great teachers focus not on compliance, but on connections and relationships.” -P.J. Caposey
The Student-mentor relationship is the backbone of the education system not only in the modern scenario but also has its genesis right from the ancient system of education. The latter rather had a teacher-student bond full of purity, reverence, and trust. Of late, this is an obsolete kind of relationship and the gap is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Hence, it's high time that the mentors should build an effective relationship with the students and take the legacy of the erudite age-old teachers a step forward.
To strengthen this relationship and make it more effective, some of the important aspects that should be kept in mind are:
An interactive student-teacher Introduction session
Instead of moving straight away on chapter 1 and its explanation, start with an interesting student introduction session wherein each student tells about his hobbies and fields of interest. This will make it easier for them to open up in the future and even for the mentor to connect with the students. This can be followed by an inspiring and brief introduction of the mentor himself highlighting both highs and lows of life.
Interactive way of beginning a lesson
Starting a lesson with a monotonous reading session and then a line-by-line explanation is outmoded. It must be replaced by a brief explanation about the lesson by each student who should be informed about having a prior reading on their own. This will make them understand better and even for the mentor to explain easily without facing many difficulties. This will ultimately lead to the appreciation of the mentor by the students and have a positive outlook towards the teacher.
Arranging Doubt Sessions
Clearing the doubts of the students plays a vital role in building up the relationship, hence only teaching doesn't suffice. Doubt sessions are equally important for the students to have a clear picture of the subject and this ultimately will make them feel closer to their teacher in some aspect.
Spend one-on-one time with a Student
This is one of the major factors which acts as icing on the cake and puts you many steps closer to the students. In large classrooms, in particular, students often feel lost and that their voices aren't heard and as a result, they feel left out. On the other hand, during the one-on-one time, a student has the teacher's full attention since they don't feel compelled to perform for other students, they'll probably speak honestly and have an emotional connection with the students as well.
Introducing yourself to students’ parents, can encourage effective communication and can be particularly helpful with students who disrupt the class. Connecting with families can help build strong teacher-student relationships because your efforts show students that you care enough about them to take interest in their home and family lives.
Share your stories and life experiences
Students find stories about former students particularly compelling. They love hearing about students who sat at the same desks where they sit now which makes them feel more connected to the institution and pushes them to make the best use of the opportunity and work even harder. Apart from this, the mentor may even share his own life experiences and stories and his days spent at school with his friends and teachers whom he still is in contact with. Using stories about his educational struggles to help my students see how important it is to persevere in life.
Telling stories to introduce or reinforce concepts brings those concepts to life. It takes the monotony out of learning rote facts. It keeps students interested in learning and is especially powerful when you can tell a personal story related to a concept being taught. A good story will allow students to make connections that they may not have made otherwise.
Having a good sense of humor
Students need to laugh and you can have fun while still maintaining strong classroom management. The fact that the mentor can laugh at himself, make jokes, and use light-hearted sarcasm in the classroom helps him build relationships with his students. Humor can go a long way towards tearing down walls and building classroom solidarity. Students will enjoy coming to your class because they love to laugh, learn and enjoy your learning sessions. Students love creative, engaging lessons that grab their attention and make their learning process even more interesting.
Offering words of encouragement
Words of encouragement can go a long way in developing trust, mutual respect, and a strong teacher-student relationship. Motivating the students to follow their passion and work hard to fulfill their dreams adds a tonne to the student-teacher relationship. This propels the students to work even harder and turn their dreams into reality. Ultimately, the student will start opening up to the teacher and respect her rules. He also becomes less disruptive and would make extra efforts in the class. Hence, words of encouragement can move a person in the right direction and bring about a positive change in his life.
Promoting Healthy Discipline
Correcting behavior can be an opportunity to strengthen relationships with students. The number one rule when it comes to discipline is to be respectful. Losing your temper and unreasonable scolding or anger can harm your relationship with a student. Instead, take a deep breath and administer a consequence that is fair and meaningful. Always show that you respect and care for the student and communicate in a way that preserves the dignity of the student. Be mindful of equity in your discipline and corrective behavior.
Give Respect, Take Respect
Teachers should handle situations professionally maintaining a certain level of reverence and dignity. The mentors should deal with problems individually, in a respectful, yet direct and authoritative manner. Teachers must treat each student the same and should not support favoritism. The same set of rules must apply to all students. It is also vital that a teacher is fair and consistent when dealing with students.
Possessing a positive attitude
Last but not the least, building a positive environment for the students so that they have an optimistic outlook towards life and overcome the obstacles on their way and stand out triumphant. Your personal issues should not interfere with your ability to teach. Teachers should approach their class each day with a positive attitude. Positivity is transcending.
Therefore, building a strong and effective relationship with the students is of the utmost importance in today's scenario and carrying forward this unadulterated bond in life with supreme love and reverence. This will not only strengthen the student-teacher relationship but also bolster the roots of the education system. Connecting with the students emotionally and mentally strengthens this bond many folds. The teachers should leave an indelible impact on the minds of the students which they will cherish forever in their lives.
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” – Albert Einstein