Building Students’ Rapport

2024.05.15  Glady

We always hear to build rapport with new people we spend time with. It’s an important skill in my field as an educator. When you know and understand the likes and interests of each of your student, you’ll be able to start simple conversation with them. It’s always good to talk to them about things that they love and can easily understand. It’s an effective way to get students’ listening ears. When we always talk to them enthusiastically, we gradually earn their trust.


Once we build that trust, it becomes easier to control them in the classroom. They become more attentive and they start to follow our instructions. Then, we can plan and execute more engaging activities with them.


There are various ways in which we can build rapport. My favorite is playing games with the kids. I remember the first time I had free time with our students. Most of them were shy and quiet because I don’t speak Japanese. It took some time before they can finally talk to me with confidence. But our new first graders are more expressive and playful. I think it’s because we have met during their trial lesson and I had some time with them to play. Also, some of them have older siblings who were once my students.


Another way that I can build rapport with the kids is introducing my country. We had an activity of foreign games. I taught them a famous game I played as a child. At first, I thought it wouldn’t interest them that much but, I was wrong! They did like it and actually, they’re still playing it even after months have passed. They have introduced it to our new kids and they play it together.


Last week, I showed them some of the famous landmarks in the Philippines and different festivals that we celebrate. I also encouraged them to talk about famous places here in Japan and festivals that they know. As craft activity, we made post cards and festival masks. On the final day, I told them that we would choose the best ones and they will receive a snack! They became more motivated to do the activity. I was amazed to see how creative they could be especially when they heard of the reward!


Here are some of the winners!