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Building rapport.

Building rapport is crucially important in a safe and effective educational environment.

Rapport means a good understanding of someone and an ability to communicate well with them. Rapport sometimes happens naturally. In other cases, building it might take time and a great deal of effort.

When we create a learning environment for our students, they should feel a sense of safety, security, connectedness, and belongingness, which is absolutely impossible without establishing a close rapport.

In most cases, rapport should be built consciously. It’s usually based on shared experiences or views. Empathy, openness, dialogue, and respect for others are key elements in this process. Teachers who have more developed emotional skills tend to experience fewer negative emotions. They send positive vibes to their students. These teachers are highly likely to have better-quality relationships with their students.

On the other hand, students who have better connections with their teachers are far more committed to learning and better prepared to overcome difficulties.

However, teachers who express an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or frustration are more likely to alienate students, which in turn can easily undermine students´ attention, curiosity and willingness to learn.

It turns out, that building a good rapport can be truly challenging in online classes.

Compared to a traditional classroom, teachers have fewer possibilities to use their body language or play simple but engaging games. What´s more, working from the comfort of their own homes, students can easily become passive learners.

Another issue with rapport building might be the excessive focus of some students on their own screen images. Eye contact is of paramount importance when it comes to establishing relationships.

However, being able to build rapport is extremely useful both personally and professionally. Working relationships will be more effective, and personal relationships will be stronger as a result.