Forming positive relationships with students is a central goal for any educator, both physical and virtual classroom instructors alike. Achieve this through meaningful interactions that enhance student learning.
On the first day of school, it’s common practice for new faculty members and administrators to meet students for the first time, but developing relationships should continue throughout the year. Make time for your students outside of class–even just for a quick chat–so they know they can come to you with any concerns and that you’re always available as support.
Start small but make an impactful statement about how much their lives matter to you by greeting students as they enter the classroom, asking about their weekend plans or commenting on artwork or stickers on laptops – even if your conversation does not progress further – it sends the message that their relationships matter and sets up an excellent opportunity to form bonds between students.
Connecting with students throughout the year can be challenging, so making sure there are more positive interactions than negative ones is an excellent way to build trust and foster a positive relationship. This could include providing positive feedback or an encouraging comment when reminding about assignments; attending their sporting events or other extracurricular events to show you care for more than just academic success in your classroom.