Brooke is in 11th grade, this is her first year in Journalism. She enjoys reading and writing. After college, she plans on opening her own bakery.
The Benefits of Bonding With Teachers
October 6, 2022
Teachers and students are two groups of people who have to congregate and communicate daily…whether they want to or not. However, turning those interactions into positive relationships can only happen with a mutual amount of effort between the two. Sure, it’s easier to not put in the work to build a positive relationship with your teachers. But trust me: doing so can benefit you in so many different ways. Someday you may find yourself needing someone to go to for help and guidance, and teachers can become that safe place for students who really need it.
Surprisingly, teachers may not always understand or appreciate the ways they can help students. Just being there or asking how a student is doing can change that student’s whole day for the better. According to The Education Trust, “Students who have access to more strong relationships are more academically engaged, have stronger social skills, and experience more positive behavior.” Small gestures, like asking about a student’s weekend or a recent game, can go a long way.
In the same way, students who go out of their way to build a relationship with their teachers often find themselves becoming more comfortable with them. They may feel more motivated to ask teachers for help or feel a greater sense of security knowing they have a listening ear or a champion at school. For example, says junior Jamie Rodriguez, “I have a very good relationship with Mr. [David] Small. It’s helped me because he was very willing to actively push for and help me get into his class for a second year when it didn’t end up on my schedule.”
Bonding with a teacher may also motivate you to do more in class. “Some students will cooperate more in the classroom because they know and like you,” said Golden.
Not sure how to get started? Here are some tips for building relationships with your teachers.
Having common interests is a fabulous way to build a connection. “I think when I am involved in someone’s activities, such as sports, which they really care about, it helps to build a relationship with them,” said FCHS teacher and Athletic Trainer Tyler Golden. Obviously, not all students are involved in sports, but if you talk to your teachers and ask them what they are interested in, or what they like to do outside of school, you may find that you have more in common than you think..
Stay on top of your work. Teachers are more likely to develop that relationship with you if you respect their deadlines. “The best way to build a relationship with a teacher is to be open to their efforts to connect and to be willing to engage in the classroom lessons,” said English teacher Sherry Esch.
Respect teachers’ rules. In order to receive respect you have to give respect, and feeling respected is something everyone wants. Respect in a relationship builds feelings of trust, safety, and well-being, which are key to any good relationship.
Stay engaged with the class topic. “The best way to build a relationship with a teacher is to engage in the class material,” said Golden. “I teach about sports medicine and medical sciences, which is an interest of mine. If you share that with me (or at least pretend to in class) then that goes a long way,” Golden said. Asking questions and showing that you’re paying attention is an excellent way to show your teacher that you are actively trying to learn. They, in return, are more likely to respond by trying to get to know you and help you.
Get to know your teachers personally. Ask about their weekends, their families, or what they think or feel about things. “Personally, I’m amazed how students virtually never ask me what I think about things. Most students don’t seem to see teachers as people,” said Journalism teacher Elizabeth Pellicane.
Thank your teachers. Thanks for what they do is not something that many teachers hear often enough (and some argue that teachers are underpaid for what they do). So thanking them for what they do (an interesting lesson, help on an assignment, and especially if they give you anything, like snacks, is so appreciated.