Between Teacher Candidates and Students
Why Build Rapport with Students?
Tend to students' social and emotional needs:
- See how Henry Seton, a humanities teacher-leader and writer, uses "A Daily Ritual That Builds Trust and Community Among Students".
Create an environment that is safe and engaging for all learners:
In his book, "We Got This", Cornelius Minor urges teachers to "create and maintain the kind of community that will help kids feel safe enough to be honest."
Visit Cal Poly’s SOE Prioritized Skills Module #1 to learn more about Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
Create inclusive classroom communities:
Mapping Your Heart - View this video to learn about Heart Mapping, invented by Georgia Heard, as one strategy to begin building an inclusive classroom community.
Strategies to Build Rapport with Students
Building rapport with students from the beginning of a placement allows teacher candidates to make connections early and start forming relationships.
Spend time getting to know your students on an individual level:
- Access students’ “Funds of Knowledge” via a Family Survey or Inventory, such as this one from the Learning for Justice website (formerly Teaching for Tolerance): Family Interview.
- Talk to your cooperating teacher about the learning needs of your students and start discussing how to meet those needs.
- Listen to your students! "Our teacher superpower - is not some mythical teacher goodness or hyperbolic self-sacrifice. Those things do not exist. Our superpower is listening" ~ Cornelius Minor. It's not just about listening with your ears, though. Watch this brief video to learn different ways teachers should be listening:
Maintaining Rapport Throughout the Clinical Practice Experience
Equally important as building rapport with students is maintaining that rapport. Here are some suggestions to maintain rapport throughout your placement.
Create an inclusive classroom community: Be intentional when creating and nurturing your class community:
- Restorative Circles: "A technique for proactively building the skills and relationships students will need when challenges arise" (Woerkom, 2018). Please visit our Equity in the Virtual Classroom Newsletter for more information on using this approach.
- What I Wonder About Heart Map: A video with the creator of Heart Maps, Georgia Heard, modeling how to create a “What I Wonder About” Heart Map.
Regularly remind students how special they are:
- Teachers Tell Students How Special They Are: Video of High School teachers telling their students how and why they are special.
- 6 Ideas for Creating a Remote Community of Learners: Online article with actionable suggestions for creating connections in virtual teaching & learning environments.
Building Rapport in the Online Classroom: Blog post highlighting tips to create a "trusting and safe environment through the internet".
Strategies for Teaching Online: The Ultimate Guide for Educators: You may find the section, “Strategies for Teaching Online: How to Build Rapport and Community with Students,” such as incorporating “purposeful free time,” to be of particular interest.
Take students on virtual field trips. Visit this blog post, 8 Strategies for Building Belonging with Students and Families Virtually, for virtual field trip ideas.
Create a virtual scavenger hunt. Watch this video for ideas: Virtual Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Students.
TCs share and post virtual notes of appreciation/gratitude about students. Visit this blog post, 8 Strategies for Building Belonging with Students and Families Virtually, for additional ideas.