Teacher Tip: Earning Student Trust on Day One
Teachers know that first impressions matter—they form bonds from the ground up more often than most. Every new group of kids is another chance at forging that perfect student-teacher relationship. And while there are a lot of outside factors that determine how that relationship will actually turn out, there are a few things teachers can do to turn the tide in their favor.
Catch Student Interest from Day One
Okay, so this is easier said than done. But teachers don’t have to reinvent the wheel for their students—it’s just a matter of putting something in a new light for students. Students who are interested in what a teacher has to say are also more trusting of what that teacher says.
For example, an English teacher of mine had a fascinating spiel on day one of class. Instead of talking about herself or the class structure—soporific subjects at best—this teacher called language ‘the currency of thought’.
Everyone has their own thoughts and ideas locked away in their heads, she explained. With the right words, you can share those thoughts with anyone who will listen! Needless to say, I was hooked from day one.
The execution of this will of course vary from subject to subject. Science teachers might incite a flashy chemical reaction; history teachers can connect a historical event to something relevant to everyday life; homeroom teachers can share an fascinating fact about themselves or the world in general.
Students will latch on to the energy of your first class and carry that impression with them. Make your classroom a place of intriguing questions and thought-provoking answers from day one.
Think back to the teachers who inspired you most. While you may have appreciated some of your “laid-back” teachers while you had them, they’re probably not the ones you now covet.
No, that honor likely belongs to the impassioned teachers, the people who taught their material each day as if they were discovering it alongside their students. Being passionate and capturing student interest
You don’t have to be teaching entomology to collegiate juniors to be passionate about your subject. The mark of true passion is the ability to put energy every day into teaching a subject you know inside and out.
Trust Your Students
Mutual trust is the key to fostering a healthy learning environment. Forget what happened last year. Don’t let the fibs and wayward frog legs of your last students besmirch how you feel about the next wave.
There will always be students that give you trouble. But the same goes for anything in life—it’s worth looking past the bad apples to enjoy the entire orchard.
Now, you don’t have to trust your students to a fault. This isn’t a call to let them grade their own tests or abandon them on the playground. But students can tell when a teacher is engaging with them earnestly, and they tend to react positively to it.
Teachers, how have you fostered trust in the classroom? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear. And don’t forget to follow ECR4Kids on Facebook, Pinterest, or our blog via email for more of these posts!