Everyone remembers a teacher who made a difference in their lives. Chances are, that teacher recognized your talents and encouraged you to be your best self. In turn, you felt comfortable approaching the teacher for extra academic help and for life guidance.
Strong, trusting relationships between teachers and students make room for hope and understanding. But forging those bonds takes time and effort. If you want to know how to build a good relationship with your teacher, remember that it’s a two-way street. The more you try to get to know your teacher, the more that both of you will get from the connection.
Why Build Positive Relationships With Teachers?
In a typical school year, your child spends about 1,000 hours with teachers. When the relationships are built on trust and respect, that time becomes engaging and productive.
In fact, children who learn how to get to know the teacher are likelier to succeed academically. Studies show the benefits.
- Academic success: Students who build strong bonds with teachers perform better than their peers who are in conflict with teachers. Teachers get to know their students’ interests, strengths and challenges, which helps them craft an educational approach that engages each child’s curiosity.
- Clear boundaries: Children like to know what’s expected of them. Teachers build bonds, in part, by clearly stating their positive expectations, encouraging participation in class and expressing confidence in their students’ ability to succeed.
- Better behavior: Healthy teacher-student relationships are built on mutual respect. In this environment, children show better behavior, which helps them focus on their lessons and keeps them from disrupting class time for fellow students.
- Improved self-worth and mental health: Children with low self-esteem get a sense of pride when praised by the teacher. Children who are at risk in some ways, including those with learning difficulties, especially benefit.
- Better attendance: When students want to go to school, their attendance rates improve — and good attendance has a positive impact on academic achievement.
- Higher confidence: Children who feel comfortable with their teachers are likelier to trust the teacher’s input and guidance. They know how to ask a teacher for extra help when a new concept or lesson threatens to hold them back, so a minor obstacle is swept away before it becomes a major roadblock.
- Resources for the future: The benefits of a strong relationship with a teacher extend well into the future. As children grow up, they need job references and letters of recommendation for college admissions. Teachers who know them well and appreciate their talents are likelier to write heartfelt, knowledgeable letters that open doors to opportunity.
How to Build Positive Relationships With Your Online Teachers
In online learning, students and teachers aren’t in the same room, so they can’t connect through face-to-face interaction. However, the online teacher-student relationship matters more than ever, because teachers need to know how to read signals from students across virtual settings. In turn, students need to know that their concerns and questions are getting attention.
When children know how to talk to the teacher, even across virtual connections, they feel supported and fully equipped to explore the world of learning. These tips will help your child connect with teachers, for relationships that start on the right foot and grow stronger over the school year.
- Log into virtual meetings on time: Teachers are busy. Every minute of every day is booked to maximize learning time and engage students in meaningful lessons. Being prompt shows respect for their time and their expertise. Of course, teachers understand that delays will happen, so a quick note to let the teacher know that you and your child are running late is always appreciated.
- Remain focused: Teachers love to see students who are absorbing the day’s lessons and making an effort to pay attention. An uncluttered learning space in the home, free of distractions such as toys and electronic devices, helps your child stay focused. Keep noise to a minimum, and establish rules that turn the household focus toward learning when the school day is underway.
- Participate: Raise your virtual hand. Support your classmates. Ask thoughtful questions. When your child participates in the online classroom discussion, the teacher gets to know them better. That creates opportunities for the teacher to personalize learning and adapt lessons to the immediate needs of each student and the entire class.
- Complete assignments in a timely manner: Teachers don’t want to nag your child about handing in classwork and projects. Make note of due dates, and map out schedules for getting those assignments in on time. Online students build strong time-management skills by learning to take responsibility for their own schedules.
- Update your teachers on your goals: One of a teacher’s primary responsibilities is helping each student reach their personal goals. Regular communications about those goals help teachers do their jobs. Speak up and let teachers know when your child is exceeding or falling short of benchmarks, so adaptations can be made. When the goals themselves change, let the teacher know so you can work together on revising the plan to reflect a new direction.
- Be sincere: Teachers can’t read your child’s mind, and online teachers can’t pick up cues from body language and subtle expressions. Students and families who are upfront and sincere about their expectations of teachers and who express themselves in an honest but respectful manner build understanding and common ground.
Avoiding Common Teacher-Student Relationship Problems
Many of the problems that threaten to obstruct teacher-student relationship-building are avoidable. These obstacles include miscommunications and missed opportunities. Other common problems are inevitable but manageable, such as a child’s lack of affinity for a certain subject or personalities that don’t mesh.
Try these approaches to prevent conflict from disrupting the teacher-student relationship and, instead, build positive bonds that improve your child’s chance of academic success.
- Just ask: Misunderstandings can be one of the quickest ways to a poor relationship. If you and your child don’t understand an assignment or a lesson, reach out to the teacher right away.
- Seek private consultations: If problems are brewing, try to settle them privately first. The teacher shouldn’t embarrass your child in front of classmates, and families shouldn’t confront teachers publicly. Scheduling a quiet conversation during the teacher’s office hours often leads to a resolution that satisfies both sides without escalation.
- Know school policies: Teachers function under a slew of rules and regulations. Some are imposed by state and federal laws. Others come from school policy. Knowing when a teacher is just doing their job helps students and families put everyday occurrences in context. If you’re not sure of the rules, ask for clarification.
- Show respect: Keep relationships on an even keel by showing teachers common courtesy. Recognize that their job isn’t easy. Model the kind of respect you expect your child to show the teacher. Try to understand the teacher’s perspective, even as you share your own views — respectfully, of course.
What You Need to Know About CCA’s Online Teachers
CCA’s online teachers are there to support students and build uplifting relationships. They take a distinctive approach through personal learning initiatives and building strong family support systems.
CCA teachers are state-certified and specially trained in virtual teaching. With a servant’s heart, each focuses on what’s best for each student and family. They work in the professional setting of CCA’s Family Service Centers, where they have the time to get to know each child and their interests, strengths and challenges.
CCA cultivates strong teacher-student relationships through:
- Personalized learning: Teachers work with families and students to craft learning plans customized to the child’s skills and passions. Children are encouraged to reach their full potential. By the time students graduate, they are ready for whatever’s next, whether that’s college, career training, the workforce or military service.
- Addressing each child’s learning style: The child who feels lost in a course isn’t likely to build a strong relationship with the teacher. CCA teachers keep all children engaged by addressing their personal learning styles. Lessons are delivered at the child’s pace, offering time for those who need to think about new concepts, or extra challenges for those who are eager to plow ahead.
- Flexible scheduling: Online learning lets families pursue their own priorities and lifestyles, on their own time. While students can log into lessons and complete coursework when it suits their daily schedule, they can also reach out to teachers via online, phone, email, text and chat options. Teachers maintain a constant flow of communications, making sure that children are on track with academic goals and that parents know they can reach out for help.
Experience Supportive Online Teachers at Commonwealth Charter Academy
Your child deserves a relationship with teachers that’s fruitful, satisfying and sparks the joy of learning. Online learning at CCA creates teacher-student bonds that nurture your child’s character, promote academic achievement and strive toward goals that offer fulfillment and happiness. CCA’s personalized learning is built on genuine partnerships forged between teachers and families, helping kids flourish and reach their dreams. Contact us today to learn more about CCA’s supportive online teachers.