It has been proven that supportive relationships between students/participants and teacher/trainers or other educational staff have a positive impact on class/group engagement, participation, and the students/participants’ achievements.
When students/participants/participants feel supported, they are:
- more comfortable expressing their own thoughts and ideas in class discussions
- attempting challenges,
- asking when they need help.
Higher levels of engagement and participation then lead to better developed knowledge and greater achievement.
A supportive learning environment is built using communication:
- get to know your students/participants well, and show them that they are safe from judgement or humiliation in your classroom/group.
- Have an open-door policy for students/participants to come and talk to you about any issues, and be empathic and caring when you interact with them at all times: don’t tell them off for not understanding and don’t ridicule their thoughts and ideas.
- recognise that some students/participants don’t feel comfortable talking in front of the class. If you do ask them to participate, you could use scaffolding (such as sentence starters) to make them feel safer doing so.
- it is likely that quieter students/participants have excellent listening skills, and are learning just as much, despite not sharing their own thoughts.