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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Building student rapport is the development of a positive relation between the teacher and the students. A good relationship between the teacher and the students is one of the fundamental aspects of good learning. The teacher is always the source of the language therefore a good relationship with the students means that the students have access to the language. A good rapport will put the students in a comfortable position to ask the teacher wherever they do not understand. On this Eloy Gonzales a retired New mexico teacher said “It’s our responsibility to get to know our students at different levels not only academically but personally and socially as well”. As teachers therefore, there are various things that we should always bear in mind to create a good relationship with our students. I believe for example we should always watch what we say. Educators should at any cost avoid sarcasm when joking or any unkind words when disciplining students which would otherwise compromise the students’ comfort. Educators should therefore try to create a free learning environment to students by being mindful of their choice of words as they communicate to the students. This will command genuine respect for the teacher from students other than fear. Secondly, we should always try to reach our students. Educators should at least find sometime outside the class and talk to students. This could help in case of dis agreements during a lesson for example; the teacher can get time to make up with the student. Once the teacher tells the students “I was wrong”, it changes the student’s attitude towards the teacher and the student will as well understand that mistakes are normal and will also teach him being apologetic. Such character will help the students not only in his day to day life but most importantly will draw the student closer to the teacher thus being exposed to learning. Educators could also engage students in outside class activities like games, and could ask to go with students to new places in cases where the teacher is foreign. With all this, the student will perceive the teacher as a friend. teachers should also individualize their teaching methods to create a friendlier environment. Getting closer to the student will enable understanding how the student operates so as the teacher can further individualize the curriculum and find creative ways to help the students successfully grasp the material. Once the teacher realizes that a student is weak in this aspect, he can make private arrangements with the student to get more time and discuss that aspect. With this the student will be friendlier to the teacher and cannot fear to ask incase anything is not understood. Learning the students’ character will give the teacher an idea of the kind of activities the students enjoy during their study. The more the teacher engages students in enjoyable activities, the more students become interested in both the teacher and his lessons. This will lead to a situation where the students will always feel like being with the teacher hence a rapport in case the teacher also shows the student the same interest. According to my own experience therefore, setting expectations, enforcing classroom rules positively, consistently making an effort to learn who they are outside of school, individualizing instruction, and using appropriate language in class will show how much you care. Relationships make a difference in the way students perform in school. They can also make the process of giving students what they need in the classroom a little easier.