This is an extract from the latest edition of the Classroom Management broadsheet, published by SATIPS and edited by Mark Philpott, Head of Computing at The Elms, Trent College.

To be an effective teacher, you must be able to build positive relationships with your pupils – because it causes them to want to listen to you, behave for you, and please you.

It gives you the leverage you need to influence their behaviour and work habits. It helps make your classroom management plan matter to them. Simply by being pleasant is the easiest, most predictable way to build those relationships. It works no matter your age or personality, what level you teach, or whether your favourite colour is blue or burgundy. It even works while distance learning. What makes consistent pleasantness easy is that you don’t have to go to your pupils. You don’t have to try and make small talk, look for commonalities, or build rapport one at a time.

When you’re pleasant, and nothing more, they’ll come o you. They’ll find you likable and interest and will want to get to know you better. Oddly, even pupils with shy personalities, who tend to keep their distance from teachers, will like and feel comfortable around you.

How can this be? How can the easiest way to build relationships with pupils also be the most effective?

Because of the Law of Reciprocity…

Read more in the latest edition of the Classroom Management broadsheet, out now. Mark Philpott has been a teacher for more than 15 years having taught across mainly Key Stage 1 and 2 in both the state and private sector. He is currently Head of Computing and a Year 6 teacher at The Elms Junior School, Nottingham.