That bond between a teacher and a child is oh-so-important when you want to make sure your youngster is really learning. Not unlike a parent-child relationship, your kiddo needs to connect with his teacher and feel a comforting trust. Choosing the right preschool teacher isn't for wimps. As you put a teacher under the microscope, look for some telling behaviors that could be clues about how your little one will bond with the teacher.
1. Consistency and Follow-Through
Kids usually pay very close attention to the promises and threats that adults make -- and for good reason. If an adult regularly promises treats and privileges and then doesn't deliver the goods, or if the adult threatens consequences that never happen, this spells bad news. Kids can sniff out a faker from a mile away. A teacher who has consistent expectations and follows through with both positive and negative promises builds strong trust in students.
Basic respect goes a long way in building trust, too. Managing kids without intimidation and threats encourages them to respond positively. A positive response isn't hopping to it out of fear. Instead, kids cooperate because they genuinely want to please. Adults also need to be truthful -- period. This includes even the not-so-nice news that isn’t pleasant to deliver like, "We can't go outside today for recess because it's too cold." Teachers who treat kids with a caring attitude, showing appropriate affection and a real interest in the little ones' thoughts and feelings, build strong and trusting relationships.
Instilling a love of learning and sparking a child’s interest in the teaching materials forges a tight bond between student and teacher. Kids may not feel a connection with a teacher if the subject matter is boring or the teacher is uninspired. When a teacher works hard to show kids why they should learn and how class material applies to them, children generally respond positively to both the teacher and the subject matter at hand. Energetic teaching methods can result in motivated students who excel. For example, the teacher who is so passionate about insects that she has her whole class out scouring to find bugs is instilling a love of learning in her little students.
4. High Expectations
Teachers who set the bar high and expect students to sprout wings and jump over the bar naturally motivate a class full of high flyers. It’s okay for kids to struggle sometimes or have difficulty, but a teacher needs to show unwavering belief in students to see an amazing response from them. It’s called “rising to the occasion” when kids respond to this positive encouragement with trust in the teacher and belief in themselves to achieve whatever goal has been set.
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