Why You Don’t Have To Be Cool To Build Rapport

by Michael Linsin on September 13, 2014

Why You Don't Have To Be Cool To Build RapportThere is a common misconception that you must be “cool” in order to build rapport.

The idea being that unless you’re able to interact with students on their level, unless you can speak their pop/youth culture language and tap into their wider influences, your influence will be limited.

They’ll dismiss you and disregard what you say.

But it isn’t true.

Although building rapport is critically important for effective classroom management, any teacher behavior that unnaturally seeks to mirror age-group norms—through language, mannerisms, and attitudes—will backfire.

What can be confusing, though, and the reason so many teachers latch clumsily to this strategy, is that the problems it creates don’t develop right away.

In fact, you may feel as if you’re on the fast track to a deep and powerful relationship. Your students may indeed crowd around you after the first day of school. They may feel immediately at ease in your presence. They may be thrilled that someone so cool could actually be their teacher.

That is, until the bottom falls out and misbehavior skyrockets.

You see, while it’s true that students may initially be drawn to such a teacher, eventually—and often quickly—they’ll lose respect.

So instead of looking up to you as a leader they admire, they’ll look over at you as a friend who disappoints them. They’ll react with shock and outrage if you dare hold them accountable. They’ll become silly and unruly and brazenly disrespectful.

They’ll stop taking you seriously.

Influential rapport isn’t born of an ability to tap into your students’ generational mores. It doesn’t develop through your adept use of modern slang, knowledge of popular music, or comfort saying “Hashtag, remember to get your homework done.”

You don’t have to have a certain look, dress a certain way, or in any way change who you are.

Building trusting rapport is a byproduct of your consistent, day-after-day pleasantness and willingness to see the best in your students. It’s your God-given personality, your realness, your uniqueness, and your humor that will draw students irresistibly into your circle of influence.

It’s your leadership, your forthrightness, and your follow-through that will earn the respect of even the most jaded students. It’s the staggering combination of your gentle kindness and rock-solid adherence to clearly defined boundaries that offer the keys to the kingdom.

Young or experienced, new teacher or veteran, it matters not one bit. Anyone, anywhere, in any teaching situation can build the influential rapport needed to create the peaceful classroom they desire.

You can do this.

Just the way you are.

If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving classroom management articles like this one in your email box every week.

Pin It

{ 4 comments }

11 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Lose Your Cool

September 6, 2014

Teachers tend to lose their cool when they feel they have no other recourse. Their buttons get pushed, frustration builds, and they boil over. They raise their voice. They fume and lecture. They glare and scold and stab the air with their finger. For some, it’s a hair-trigger habit that can happen with the least […]

Pin It
Read the full article →

How To Develop Good Listening The First Month Of School

August 30, 2014

Listening is always a problem with a new group of students. You can count on it. Dwelling on it or complaining about it—as many teachers are wont to do—is a waste of time. The effective teacher is only concerned with what they can control. They’re only concerned with the actions they must take to fix […]

Pin It
Read the full article →

How To Get Parents On Your Side

August 23, 2014

If dissatisfied, parents can be a source of great stress. They can question your methods. They can challenge your decisions. They can complain, make demands, and waste your precious time. Which is why it’s critical that you get them on your side, critical that they like you and trust you and support your program. There […]

Pin It
Read the full article →

How To Teach Classroom Management On The First Day Of School

August 16, 2014

Although classroom management will make up only part of your first day of school, doing it right is essential. Because it sets the boundaries within which inspired teaching can take place. It establishes an impenetrable wall, safeguarding your students from distraction, interruption, bullying, disrespect, and the like. To be most effective, you mustn’t ease your […]

Pin It
Read the full article →

How To Set The Tone On The First Day Of School

August 9, 2014

Of the many goals you have on the first day of school, none compares in importance to setting the proper tone for your students. It is the initial impression of your classroom, after all, that establishes its culture. It’s the feeling, the pace, the attitude, the mood, and the spirit of the experience that expresses […]

Pin It
Read the full article →

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Students Decide The Class Rules

August 2, 2014

Allowing students to come up with the class rules is a common strategy. And at first glance, it appears to be a good one. But dig deeper into the whys and hows of effective classroom management, and you’ll discover it to be a mistake. The idea behind the strategy is to provide students with a […]

Pin It
Read the full article →

The 4 Cornerstones Of Smart Classroom Management

July 26, 2014

Every strategy we recommend here at Smart Classroom Management falls under the heading of one of four core principles. These principles, or cornerstones, form the heart of what we believe to be the solution to the scores of behavior-related challenges facing teachers today. From disrespect to inattentiveness, and everywhere in between, their consistent application has […]

Pin It
Read the full article →