Are you a brand new teacher? Do you need help building rapport with students as a new teacher?
What exactly does it mean to “build rapport?” Basically in simple terms, it means getting to know someone on a better level. This might be understanding things they like and dislike. In addition, it means to grow your bond with someone when you have good rapport and even empathize with them.
Check out 3 ways to build rapport with students as a new teacher:
1. Learn about Students BEFORE the First Day of School
How can you possibly learn about your students BEFORE meeting them, you might be asking. There are 2 simple ways to do this:
First, you are going to read through their IEP at least 2-3 times. You will especially read over their present levels of performance as well as strengths. Look for things they are good at and areas of interest.
Next, you will have parents fill out these back to school forms (they are FREE if you want to download them!) You can email them or pass them out at open house or back to school night. These forms ask questions about topics such as: student’s favorite games, tv shows, toys and even behavior. There is also an entire form on life skills for parents or guardians to complete.
By doing BOTH of these things, you are already going to have a head start on some necessary preferred items for your students and make sure that you accommodate them during back to school time! This is the first set[ in building rapport with students!
2. Learn Student’s Interests and Preferred Activities
Obviously, you are going to continue to learn about your students as the year progresses in order to build rapport. It won’t take long before you understand what things they like to do and their preferred activities. Then, you are definitely going to use these preferred items and activities to your advantage! When you need to use a 1-2-3-choice visual schedule for learning, you can now have a picture of their preferred item or activity in that choice spot.
3. Ask them Questions
When you are not sitting down working on reading or math (or something else), TALK to your students and get to know them better. Ask them personal questions about themselves. Ask them what they did over the weekend and what their pet’s name is. Besides getting to know them, this gets them TALKING using SOCIAL SKILLS and SPEECH and LANGUAGE SKILLS. (Do you see all of the wins here?!)
You might have students who are non-verbal or have a hard time answering questions. That’s okay and that’s normal. You are going to work to build rapport during the first few weeks of school having them create an All About Me Book. This way they have a guide and even some choices to show you their likes and dislikes.
Looking for more help during the back to school season?
The First 10 Days Lesson Plans
Special Education Classroom Setup Bundle
Back to School Social Social Stories or Narratives
Were these tips helpful? Which one will you try?