Perhaps you already celebrate each class member’s birthday or anniversary, but if you do not, here are some reasons and ways to start celebrating. Everyone likes to be remembered and acknowledged on a birthday. Most everyone likes to eat. Now I am not suggesting you make a big deal with presents, cake, and ice cream, but I am suggesting giving a card and possibly bringing a coffee cake or donuts. One way to make this affordable for you as the teacher is to set up a class benevolence fund. You can ask your fellow class members to chip in as needed or suggest a certain amount to be given. If remembering when birthdays are is not your strong point, ask someone in your class to be responsible for this. Make it happen, because you show you care by remembering. And that’s an important step in building relationships. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” (Zig Ziglar).
Regardless of their “station in life,” students come to class with concerns and needs. Responses you see from a student are often reactions to situations of which you are unaware. As a teacher of adults, your relationship with the students in the class is key to the success of the lesson you come prepared to teach. By showing respect to students, you create an environment that is winsome and conducive to learning. Although time with the class may be in short segments, showing genuine concern and respect for everyone who comes to class is one way to demonstrate Christ’s love. Remember that each one is created in God’s image, and Jesus died for them. Showing Christ’s love in tangible ways to your students is a huge first step toward their success as a learner and your success as a teacher.