Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Trust-building through Education: Building trust with students

 My childhood dream has always been to become a teacher. Teachers have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students. I have been driven by my strong belief that education can change lives and it is one of the keys to success. The purpose of education itself is also to prepare students for life beyond school.


We can also build trust through education by building trust with students:


I listen to my students and acknowledge their feelings; actively listening to them is a way to learn about their motivations, desires, and struggles. This helps me to understand why they respond in a specific way, what they need in times of distress, and what makes them happy, especially with online learning. Knowing that their emotions are valid will help them to do better or behave differently next time.


Give students responsibilities.

I always give students responsibilities and trust that they will complete the assignments I set for them. When I see that my students haven't completed their job, I try to approach and ask them personally.   I first of all listen to them and then I give consequences so that they can take it as a lesson.


Honor my students’ time and passion.

I believe I should acknowledge students for being there; being ready to learn is an important part of daily life in the classroom. It is also important to appreciate students’ passion. There was a time I accidentally met a former student at a coffee shop.  I used to teach him when he was in the tenth grade at a Vocational High School. I was glad that he still remembered me and so was he.  He then said, “Miss, do you remember that you had said to me one day that I had persuasion and influencing skill?  Your words convinced me and now I work in the marketing field; thank you for teaching me in the past.” This made me realize more that it is important to honor students’ passion and that teachers have a significant and lifelong impact on their students. This impact involves not only the academic skills but also the students’ self-esteem.


Be vulnerable.

When appropriate, I share a personal story with my students that could help them create a connection with me. There was a time I shared and applied quiet times in the classroom, and some of my students even joined IofC programs in Indonesia, such as the youth seminars.  Teachers should have courage from the heart and the passion for what we love will help us stay connected with students.


Last but not least, I want to bring heart and mind to my work. In my journey as a teacher, I have a perspective on what students need to learn in the classroom. They should not only learn about school subjects but also how education itself nurtures the heart and mind.


In 2020 I wrote my first book, The Journey of a Millennial Teacher. The book is a compilation of my journey and experiences as a teacher. Enjoying every moment of the journey and trusting the process gives me power and energy in living my life with love.


The learning process is different for each individual. Beyond achieving good grades and performance in the classroom, I try to help the students enjoy the learning process and develop the curiosity to learn more about the world they live in and reach their full potential.



Yofrina Octika Gultom