As educators, we must work to develop and maintain effective
relationships. Relationships with students, coworkers, managers and even the
These relationships are vital for the success of our schools. All relationships are important in the school
business from our relationship to other instructors, the students, the
administration and even the community.
Over the next few weeks, we will look at each one individually.
One of the most important relationships we have in school is our
relationship to the student. Students are the reason we exist.
Our mission is to educate the students. Students aren’t going to learn from an
educator they don’t get along with or one they don’t respect. We must build effective relationships with
our students, earn their trust and build a rapport with them.
Before we go any farther, I want to make clear what kind of
relationship we are talking about here.
We are not talking about being their BFF. We aren’t talking about hanging out with them
and going out with them after hours.
That is fraternization and it leads to nothing but problems as an
Our role is to be a teacher, mentor, coach. We can be friendly without being their
To create that professional relationship with our leaners, be genuinely
interested in them. Know what their goals area, what their dreams are. Then you can help guide them to those
Just because you are the educator, that doesn’t mean you have to do
all the talking. Ask them their thoughts
on a subject, ask them what they want to learn about, ask them how they would
solve a problem. Be willing to learn
from them as well.
Ask your students how you can serve them better and then be open to
what they say. Some requests may not be
something you can do, but you never know, some request can be easily delivered
When you get feedback from your students be willing to adjust in
teaching techniques in order to meet their needs.
We must understand how they learn.
The best way to know that is to ask them. What do they enjoy doing? What are their goals?
What can you do to build your relationship with your students?
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.