Hello, I’m Cas Germain, it’s a pleasure to meet you.
How does it feel when you’re in a new or familiar space and someone says hello and takes time to talk to you? Pretty good, most would say.
This is rapport or as the new 21st century terminology would have it ‘leaning in’, which is fundamentally taking the time to get to know people and what’s going on.
As if the teacher workload cannot take on anymore, it somehow seems to have and I believe rapport is the basis to strengthening not only our classroom relationships; but the wider community too.
This article will address two concepts, why rapport is important and practical ways we can implement it within our schools and one another.
Why is rapport important?
Rapport is important as it:
- Strengthens relationships with all people.
- Creates a spaces of acceptance.
- Enables a safe space for learning.
- Allows for a calm classroom environment.
- Enhances resilience in colleagues and students.
- Promotes healthy learning behaviour.
- Gives the ability to laugh and have fun.
- Builds children’s confidence.
What are the practical ways we can implement it within our schools?
- If you’re in primary school, stand at the door to greet them in the morning so you’re the first person they see.
- Greet the children by name in the morning, as well as with the register.
- Find something about them that is non-school related.
- Share information about yourself. E,g your hobbies and interests.
- Compliment the children- I like the way you care for your friends.
- Praise the children- You tried really hard at creating that story.
- Communicate with parents- Email or call parents to note a positive action a child did.
- Kneel down to the child’s level if you’re talking to them, this would mainly be for primary children.
- Listen to them without interruption.
- Be mindful of your tone of voice when speaking with them.
- Address them with a calm voice.
- Respect them for their ideas.
It would be safe to say that many of these ideas and strategies are taking place already, however it’s great sometimes to have gentle reminders.
Thank you for reading, I hope you’ve found this useful and have tried one or two since reading. Feel free to say hello and connect via my Instagram page: @themindfulteacher_UAE, where I promote lots of ‘Teacher Wellbeing’ hacks.
Keep being brilliant and thank you for the wonderful work you’re doing, from one educator to another, you’re doing amazing. And that right there, is rapport!
Author: Cas Germain is a Primary School Teacher living and teaching in the UAE. She has a Masters in Gender Studies in the Middle East, is a qualified SENCo and a certified Life Coach. As a woman of colour, her passion is raise the inclusion and wellbeing profile for children and colleagues alike. For more of Cas’ work, feel free to follow her on Instagram: @themindfulteacher_uae.