7 Tips on How to Adapt Teacher-Student Rapport While Teaching Online
One of the first things that teachers do when they enter their virtual classroom is establishing rapport with their students. It’s a very challenging task, especially if you have students from different backgrounds. But if you want to have successful online teaching experience, you have to exert effort in making your students feel comfortable around you. Also, make them feel safe and welcome.
Having rapport with your students has a great impact on their learning outcomes. Here are seven tips on how you can adapt teacher-student rapport while teaching online:
Nothing is more encouraging than seeing a teacher smile at the beginning of the class. Smiling motivates students, and it’s one way of showing your students that you’re friendly, approachable, and trustworthy.
2. Praise frequently
Praising is also an excellent way to have a rapport with students online. They want to be appreciated for their efforts, and showering them with praises is one way to show your approval and, at the same time, encourage active participation. However, be genuine in your praise and be specific. You have to let them know what they have done right.
3. Use eye contact
It may seem impossible to maintain eye contact with every student in a group online class. The technique here is to talk to the camera instead of the front of your computer screen. This way, you’ll look as if you’re looking directly at their eyes.
4. Address students individually
Take time to address each student during the lecture. It is an effective way to catch their attention and for you to determine if they’re listening or not. Try to memorize their names. It will make them realize that even if you’re in front of your computer, you’re also paying attention to each of them.
5. Have casual talk
You don’t need to spend the whole time lecturing; otherwise, you’ll never have a rapport with your student. Instead, have a casual talk with your students, especially before diving into the more serious stuff. You can ask them what they did over the weekend or what they want for Christmas. You’ll be learning so much about each other.
6. Include games
Establish rapport and motivate students at the beginning of the class by playing a game. You can have a teacher-made game that’s related to your previous or new lesson. Another is to find an online game that encourages maximum participation of your students.
7. Remind students that it’s okay to make mistakes
One of the main reasons many students are afraid to speak up during class is because they’re afraid of making mistakes. They’re scared that they’ll give the wrong answer and their classmates will laugh at them or worse, their teacher will scold them. But once you make them understand that making mistakes is part of learning and it’s okay, they’ll be more active in your class.
Remember these 7 tips while teaching online. They’ll make your students feel right at home with you, and in return, you’ll be rewarded by their undivided attention and respect.