We know that building rapport with students is fundamental if we want to get the best out of them. Establishing positive student-student and teacher-student relationships also helps create a positive classroom atmosphere which in turn leads to more effective learning.
How can we build positive relationships?
- Show interest
- Show respect
- Share responsibility for the learning process
- Make learning brain-friendly (realistic, attainable objectives; scaffolding; relevant…)
- Provide choice
- Show we care
This is an activity to help build rapport and create a positive classroom atmosphere which addresses all of the above. I do it at the start of the school year but it can be done at any time, especially if you see a need for students to sit back and reflect on their personal situation and/or what is happening in class (and how they can help change the situation.)
Step 1 Reflection
- Students write down their passions and interests (1)
- Students reflect on their strengths and weaknesses related to learning English (2,3)
- Reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses they identified, students make their objectives for the term, thinking about what they need to focus on to be the best they can (4)
- Reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses they identified, students think of ways they could help their classmates be the best they can (5)
In this step students reflect on the reality of their situation and ways of making me progress (especially in the areas where they are not so strong.) Ideally they create objectives linked to their interests and passions, making learning more personal, relevant and motivating.