Do you ever wonder why students seem to magically behave well for some teachers while becoming almost impossible to deal with for others?
While the difference isn’t actually magic, it is somewhat intangible and definitely hard to identify. But, when we take a step back and really analyze the difference, we will find that it typically comes down to trust.
Trust begins when students see that their teacher knows what he or she is doing, cares about them, and is there to help them. And that trust is magical.
So, what can you do to encourage your students to trust you?
1. Let them see you have their best interest at heart.
1 Corinthians 10:24 “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
Kids are amazing observers, and as such, are brutally honest. Would your students report that you are making decisions based on what’s best for THEM or that you worry more about what is best for YOU?
If a change is needed, don't waste time beating yourself up. Simply confess to our amazing God that you are ready to put the needs of your students above your own and ask Him for help. Loving our students, and doing some extra good for them is a beautiful way to build trust, and show or demonstrate the love of Christ.
2. Consistently pursue a standard of excellence in the classroom.
Colossians 1:7 "...so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God..."
I would argue that the key to excellence is not perfection, but progress. Learning and improvement should be a regular part of your classroom. And, I mean YOUR learning and improvement (alongside your students’ of course). Share what you are reading, learning, and working on with your students. When we pursue wisdom and growth in our own lives, it will inspire our students in their educational journey.
3. Show them you love teaching.
Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
Build trust with your students by showing them you love teaching—you love THEM, your CRAFT, and the CONTENT you teach.
BUT—we can still get excited about what we are teaching.
Here are some simple tips to grow your excitement for content:
- Connect skills to the bigger picture in life
- Attach content to biblical truths (even if it is just for you!)
- Pray for fresh eyes to see something new
- Invite your students to participate and contribute to lessons
- Discuss content with your colleagues for inspiration
God has put you in a unique position. Investing a bit of energy into growing a trusting relationship with your students will reap a multitude of rewards, including students who are more engaged, a classroom that is easier to manage, and a you who is more satisfied with where God has called you to be!
Linda Kardamis taught middle school math before founding Teach 4 the Heart. She is the author of Create Your Dream Classroom and Take Heart and Teach and the creator of Classroom Management 101. She and her husband are raising their four kids in Northeast Ohio.
Could you use some classroom management help? If so, you can access Linda's new training How to Reduce Disruptions without Yelling, Begging, or Bribing for free at www.teach4theheart.com/free.
CEAI Members with Coverage receive a 40% discount on all Teach 4 the Heart courses as a benefit of membership. Log in to your membership account at ceai.org to access your discount code.
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