A teacher is no longer just a provider of knowledge but a facilitator. With this change in the teacher’s role, there is also a change in the teacher-student relationship. If any teaching-learning is to happen today, it is essential that there exist a strong bond between the teacher and the taught.
Here are a few suggestions to help you build a strong relationship with your students. These are tried and tested practices followed by teachers in rural schools.
- Call the name: Make the effort to remember your students’ names and call them by their names and not by their roll numbers. This will create a friendlier atmosphere in class and students will certainly appreciate it.
- Make good use of play time: Why can’t teachers play with students? Instead of simply taking your students to the grounds and sitting aside while they are playing, let down your hair and play with them. You can also organize matches between students and teachers. This will contribute towards diffusing unwanted fears of adolescent mischief and hyperactiveness.
- Home visits: Regular visits to your students’ houses will bring a new dimension to your relationship with your students. Interacting with your students in their own homes, with their parents will certainly help you understand your students better. Schools should give teachers this kind of time and not burden them with unnecessary paperwork, which can be taken care of by the non-teaching staff.
- Listen and guide: Schools these days hire counsellors to talk and listen to students. While this is a good move, in the initial stages it will help if students can talk to and be heard by their own teachers. You spend a lot more time with your students than the counsellor does so it helps if you can lend an ear to the problems of your students.
- Talk about interests in class: Do not be a syllabus addict. Talk to the children in class about things other than your subject. Talk to them about their interest in sports, current affairs, newspaper headlines, etc. It is through these talks that you will realize how many adventure sports enthusiasts you have in class, how many of them are spiritually inclined, how many aspire to be entrepreneurs. This will help you know your students better and therefore teach them accordingly.
- Nourish their dreams: Most young adults are confused about their careers. Through your talks with them you will have a fairly good idea of what they want. Guide them in the right direction.
- Celebrate with them: Celebrate with your students during their birthdays or any other occasions. Be part of their joys.
- Recognize their efforts: Everybody craves recognition. When it comes from teachers, their self-esteem grows by leaps and bounds.
The author is Principal, Amrita Vidyalayam, Mangalam, Tamilnadu. He can be reached at