Becoming your students' most favorite teacher EVER is a worthwhile goal that is more attainable that you may think. After all, who wants a teacher who is a grouch who doesn't like school or kids?
It’s not hard to be everyone’s favorite teacher. Really, it isn’t. If you think back to your school days, you probably can identify your own favorite teachers by the way you felt in their classes.
- You felt intelligent and important.
- You knew that you could ask for help without embarrassment.
- You felt as if your opinions mattered.
- You looked forward to class because while there was lots that was predictable, there was also lots that was interesting. Time flew by most days.
- You felt important.
So, whether school is out for you now or still in session, it is not too late to be everyone’s favorite teacher. Here are some easy tips that will make your students glad to be in your class.
- Smile. Be super polite. Overwhelm your students with niceness.
- Don’t forget that the class is about your students and not about you. Be gentle and inclusive in your approach.
- Tell your students what you like about them. Make it a point to compliment them whenever you can. Compliment individuals, small groups, teams, pairs…the entire class.
- Be prepared for class. When you are prepared, you will not have to worry about what you do or don’t know. Instead, you can just focus on your students.
- Show that you have a sense of humor. Share a laugh with your students whenever you can. Playing together and laughing together will make school fun for everyone.
- When you speak with students, lean towards them slightly. Let your body language indicate that you are interested and accessible.
- Greet your students courteously as they come into the classroom. At the end of class, stand at the door and speak to them as they leave.
- Take the time to reveal a little bit about yourself. For example, a brief story about how you learned a lesson the hard way will make you much more accessible and appealing to your students than if you are always right.
- Ask questions and wait expectantly for answers. Let your body language signal that you are interested in the responses that you may receive.
- Move around the classroom. Every part of the room should be part of your circuit.
- Use inclusive pronouns such as we, our, or us instead of ones that exclude students from ownership in their class.
- Get your students up and moving. Sitting in a desk day after day will not just bore them, but it will also make the distance between teacher and students greater.
- Find out your students' goals and dreams and help them work toward achieve them.
- Provide opportunities for students to share their opinions and beliefs with you and with each other in a non-threatening way.
- Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to interact with your students on a one-to-one or personal level. Ask about their hobbies, problems, families…whatever it takes to connect.
- Be fair. Few things destroy a relationship between teacher and student faster than a student’s suspicion that he or she is being treated unfairly.
- Be tactfully honest. Students know when they are being lied to and those lies will destroy the relationship you may want to build.
- Show respect for all of your students as well as for their families, neighborhoods, and cultures.
- Use your students’ names frequently and with a gentle tone of voice.