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Pro Student Teacher Bio: Pro Student Teacher is a blog dedicated to providing aspiring teachers with helpful hints to navigate their student teaching experience and prepare them for their first years of teaching. As a mother-daughter team we offer our personal advice on topics that include creating a positive classroom atmosphere, teacher preparedness, as well as health and style.
To assist with learning, we offer “Play vs. Pause: Interactive Learning & Critical Thinking  Activities.” This workbook provides teachers with strategies to make their lessons interactive and relatable to the lives of their students. The use of this workbook helps the teacher promote critical thinking in students and actively engages them in the
learning process. This workbook of instructional strategies can be used with any
curricula and is appropriate for all grade levels and all content areas.
For more information about Pro Student Teacher, please visit

The relationship you have with your students is just like any other personal relationship.  It takes time to nurture, grow, and build trust.  However, unlike your personal relationships you don’t always have a lot of time to work to build that trust with your students.  Relationships with friends, family members, colleagues, etc. usually take years to develop and cultivate trust.  Most of the time, you may only be with your students for a school year or sometimes even less.   This means you have only a small window of opportunity to build a trusting relationship with your students.

Trust is crucial if you want to have a positive relationship with your students. They are more receptive to learning from you once they feel you can be trusted. Students are more willing to learn from a teacher who will not embarrass them when they don’t know the answer, who will acknowledge their strengths, and who encourages them when they feel frustrated.

Think back to your favorite teachers in school.  You more than likely loved their class and you probably somehow managed to do better in their class.  More than likely, you trusted them.  Students trust you with their feelings, look for you to serve as a mentor and guide, as well as give them the tools they need to succeed in school and in life.  Here are some hints for you to think about when working to build trust with your students.

First Impressions Are Critical: The first meeting is when you really set the tone for how you and your students will interact with each other.  All of your classroom expectations, rules, and guidelines are outlined during the first week.  Use this week to really get to know your students.  Create fun icebreakers and classroom assignments that allow your students to learn about you and each other.  This will create a comfortable environment for your students.

1. Keep Things Confidential: Don’t talk negatively about your students to their classmates. This can set the tone for students to follow your lead and treat each other disrespectfully.  Avoid talking to your colleagues about disruptive occurrences that happen in your classroom when your students are nearby.  It makes it sound as though you are gossiping about them, makes them feel embarrassed and demonstrates to them an uncaring attitude.  The minute students hear that you talk about them with other teachers, especially in a negative light, is the minute they start to lose respect for you and begin to shut down in your classroom.

2. Consider Student Interests: Try to incorporate information and issues that your students care about in your classroom assignments.  Also, realize that some of your students will be involved in extracurricular activities.  Find ways to show support for those activities.  For instance, you should consider attending one of their games or performances.  You could even ask them for an update of how the activity went.

3. Keep Promises: No one likes a broken promise.  If you make a promise to your students about something in your class, make sure you keep it; and don’t promise something you are not sure you can deliver.  It is best to start out with small promises, such as not giving homework on a particular day, giving them free time to work on assignments, or be available after school for extra help.  Those little promises will go a long way with your students.

4. Apologize for Mistakes: We all make mistakes, and students hate it when teachers never acknowledge that.  If you make a mistake, apologize for it.  Students appreciate it when their teacher can acknowledge that they are human.  It promotes respect and trust.

5. Share Personal Stories: Students want to feel as though they can relate to their teachers.  Try, where appropriate, to share personal stories with your students.  It gives them a chance to connect with you.  For instance, when I was in the 2nd grade I was a Brownie Girl Scout.  My reading teacher’s daughter was a few years older, but she had been a girl scout at some point.  My teacher always made a point to tell me stories about her daughter when she was a Girl Scout, supported me when I was selling cookies, and even gave me some accessories from her daughter’s old uniform.  It made me feel special, and I loved going to her class.
A teacher who is successful at establishing a climate of trust and respect will be the one students remember for a lifetime.