If you want your students to work hard and do their best, you’ll have to win them over first. Trust isn’t given; it’s earned through respect and open communication.
In this guide, we’ll teach you how to earn the trust of your students so that they feel safe working with you in the classroom and helping each other out.
1) Communicate openly and frequently
One of the best ways to establish trust with your students is by being open and honest. If they feel like they can trust you, they’ll be more likely to try new things in your class.
Also, show them that you care about them as people as well as learners. This will help them see that you are invested in their success and want them to do well in your class.
Communicate also through what you do rather than just what you say.
For example, if a student asks for an extension on a project, don’t just tell them no- work with them to find a solution that works for both of you.
In this way, you’re demonstrating your trustworthiness while still providing consequences.
Showing up late to class is another way in which students might violate a rule or expectation and it’s important to set boundaries early on so that they know where they stand before something happens.
Try using phrases such as In our classroom we expect everyone to come prepared so please plan accordingly or We hope you will take this opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
3) Get to know your students as individuals
Getting to know your students on an individual basis will help you better understand what each student needs.
For example, showing that you care about their personal lives will go a long way in gaining their trust.
You can do this by asking them how they are doing and taking the time to listen without judgment.
Another way to show care is by getting involved with their lives outside of school, such as going to a soccer game or attending a concert.
Offer to tutor a struggling student one-on-one after school hours. And it doesn’t have to be something big.
Telling a student he or she has done well when the assignment was turned in even though it wasn’t perfect shows confidence and encouragement.
When a student sees that his or her teacher cares enough to correct mistakes, then he or she will feel more comfortable taking risks for fear of making mistakes.
If you take the time to get to know your students individually, then you’ll be able to give them personalized attention based on who they are and what they need from a teacher.
4) Show that you care
It can be hard to get students to trust you and open up, but there are a few ways you can show them that you care and make them feel more at ease.
You should always greet your students when they enter the classroom and be genuine in your interactions with them.
You also need to listen carefully, give positive feedback and provide constructive criticism in order for them to feel like they’re making progress.
If they do something wrong, take the time to explain why what they did is wrong before criticizing them harshly.
Finally, remember that not all of your students will respond well to everything you do and it may take time before they grow accustomed to you as their teacher.
Patience is key; over time, your efforts will pay off and they’ll feel more comfortable opening up to you.
Don’t forget to establish school policies and guidelines early on so they know what’s expected of them. Be clear about your expectations from day one and set achievable goals.
Give positive feedback when they complete tasks or work well together in class, while being consistent with reprimands if they break rules or refuse to follow directions.
Keep an eye out for signs of abuse such as bruises, missing clothes or changes in behaviour – these could mean that someone has been bullying them.
By establishing trust and following through consistently, you’ll have happier students who learn better!
5) Be consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to building trust with your students. Meet with them outside of class, answer their emails promptly, and make sure they feel like you are there for them.
You can also encourage communication by making a point of asking how the student’s week was at the beginning of each class. This will help them feel more comfortable talking about any issues or concerns they may be facing.
For example, if a student has just had a tough day at home, ask what happened. You might find out that this person needs someone to talk to or wants advice on an issue from you as his/her teacher. Plus, Teachers need to listen to their students without judgment.
If you have built enough rapport and trust with your students (from being consistent), then hearing what they have to say should not come as much of a surprise.
Even if it does, try not to react emotionally and stay calm. You want your students to know that no matter what they say, you will still respect them as a person and see them as part of the classroom community.
6) Model the behaviour you want to see
Although it’s hard, try not to yell. Yelling won’t help the situation and will just make things worse.
Instead of yelling, do your best to remain calm and speak in a respectful tone. This will show that you’re reasonable, even if you’re angry or upset.
Be clear about what you expect from students and maintain consistent expectations for them at all times. You might want to post these on the board so that everyone can see them.
You may also want to create individual student contracts with each student, where they agree to follow your rules and are rewarded with privileges when they uphold their end of the contract.
Always be available and responsive to questions your students have.
Let them know that they can come talk to you anytime they need something, no matter how big or small the problem is.
Remember that empathy is key when trying to get through to someone else who doesn’t believe what you believe in or think like you do.
Don’t judge them, but instead listen carefully and try to understand their point of view as much as possible before responding.