Three Myths About Building Relationships with Students Debunked
What is the work of building relationships with students? What are some common misconceptions educators tend to have about this work?
For educators, the COVID-19 pandemic and the repeated cases of racial injustice and civil unrest that have dominated the news have made the work of building respectful and trusting relationships with students more important than ever before. But what is the work of building relationships with students? And what are some common misconceptions educators tend to have about this work? Listen to TeachingWorks Research & Design Specialist Charles Wilkes debunk three myths about the work of building relationships with students. Watch the video below to meet Charles!
Myth 1: “Building relationships with students depends on being funny.”
Of course, as teachers, we want our students to like us. And one way we think about getting our students to like us is by being funny. Using humor can be an effective way to build familiarity among students, which is an important part of relationship building. But being funny is just one of many methods teachers can use to build relationships with students. Listen to Charles unpack this commonly held myth about relationship building below.
Myth 2: “Building relationships with students can only happen devoid of academic work.”
In doing the work of building relationships with students it’s easy to think about it as separate from teaching and interacting with students about academic content. But building relationships with students need not — and often should not — be devoid of academic work. Listen to Charles explain how academic work is a lever teachers can use to build relationships with students below.
Myth 3: “Building relationships with children is just being yourself.”
Teachers, we’ve likely all heard this phrase before; “Just be yourself.” Building relationships with students is about being authentic, but that is not the same as “being yourself.” Listen to Charles break down the difference between being authentic and being your unfiltered self when building relationships with students.
You can learn more about the practice of building respectful relationships with students here on the TeachingWorks Resource Library, our free online repository of practice-based teacher education resources and curriculum materials.
Writers: Deborah Loewenberg Ball, TeachingWorks Director; Alyssa La’Dawn Brandon, TeachingWorks Communications Coordinator; Charles Wilkes, TeachingWorks Research & Design Specialist
Producers: Alyssa La’Dawn Brandon, TeachingWorks Communications Coordinator; Gloria Li, TeachingWorks Graphic Designer