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Why is building student-teacher rapport critical to establishing and maintaining a productive classroom environment? How does communication with students impact successful implementation of classroom rules and procedures? What communication skills and methods will you use to establish a rapport with students?

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    Have you seriously considered these questions? It seems to be common sense. First of all, of a teacher loves the subject being taught and the students entrusted to him/her, the battle is just about won! On the first day of class, I always did a "warm up" or "mixer" for the students to feel comfortable with eachother. This gave me time to observe them. Then we discussed styles of learning, something most of them had never considered. That made each individual know better how to attack the subject matter best.

    Now we get down to the "nitty gritty" which was laying out the over-all plan for the entire year. To my way of thinking, everyone has to know what to expect; this lowers the anxiety level.

    My students always had input as to how we were doing things. Fortunately for me, or perhaps unfortunately for the students, I used no English in class unless absolutely necessary (an emergency perhaps) but they could always visit me before or after class for explanation.

    As for me, rapport is necessary for a cohesive group and my students knew that whatever we were doing was to make them as proficient as possible.

    Perhaps that does not fully answr your questions. Indeed, the first day covered the "rules" necessary for an orderly class. They had to memorize them (definitely an oral test the 2nd day!) There were only 3 so it was easy to remember. 1) seated when the bell rang with materials ready to go (book, paper, pen/pencil), 2) no chewing gum to impede proper pronunciation for the language we were doing, 3) NO ENGLISH, but hand signals, facial expressios, body language clearly illustrated discomfort.

    All I can say is the highest compliment for me was when they would say "we were never bored in your class" and the next best thing was when the big exams came in May, everyone passed!

    Sra (aka Mme)

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