Ways to get the class to love you

Can it be agreed that students are most ready to learn when they have an emotional connection with their teacher?

Here are some ways you might create that emotional connection.

Watch them compete or play

If any of your students play in a team or are a part of a dance group or something and they have a match or competition coming up, go and watch them for fifteen minutes after school.

While you are there, make sure they see you, and that they know you are there for them.

If you think this is too much effort, think how much time you spend with them on negative things like detentions...

Share a story or two

Even the most challenging students want to hear a story, especially if it involves you doing something daft or you having embarrassed yourself. Do you remember a long after-school twilight session which was made bearable by the speaker because s/he used humour to engage you? The same applies to students.

Use the sotry at the start to settle them, in the middle to re-engage them or at the end to reward them.

Trawl your memory, and if your memory runs dry, use some stories from the Darwin Awards webpage. Make them laugh and they will inevitably feel more connected to you.

Ask them about themselves

Everyone wants to be noticed, to be considered, to be thought of fondly.

Ask the students what they have been up to, or if you are using individual whiteboards, get them to draw a picture of something (repeatable) they did last night or at the weekend or are going to do in the holidays, then show interest in what they share. Teaching is about relationships, so forge some relationships.

Tell yourself (and tell them) you like them

This might be really tough to do, but it can be the thing that helps you break a hard class. when you greet them have a smile on your face, look them in the eye warmly and welcome them to the lesson. try to engage with the most troublesome students on a topic which is important to them.

If they think for one minute you don't like them, they will act in ways which will make it impossible for you to like them.

Volunteer for school trips

This might not be possible for all teachers, but if you are able, volunteer to go on a few school trips - day-long and residential. The bonds teachers make with students on these trips is invaluable when dealing with those students as they move through the school.

Plan excellent lessons

If your lessons are rigorous and the students can see that you are working hard for them, then they may well reluctantly have to like you as a teacher, if not as a human being, a little bit more.

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