Teachers are constantly trying to improve their relationship with their students. It is difficult to create a relationship relaxed enough so the students feel comfortable approaching their teacher while retaining a level of respect for them. Teachers who find a balance between the two connect with students and still remain in control of the classroom.
Set boundaries with the students. Know exactly how friendly is too friendly. Treat all the students the same.
Require the same amount of respect from every student. Students learn from example, so treat them with the same respect you expect to receive from them.
Be available for students to talk to you before school, during lunch or after class. Students may need help with work or just need someone to listen. Try to remain objective and never take sides with students.
Listen and try to understand the students. Students have problems just like everyone else. Try not to be too strict with the students so they don't dread coming to your class.
Greet the students with a smile as they come into class. Talk with them and listen to what's going on in their lives. This makes the students feel like you are interested in them.
Support the school's extracurricular activities. Even if you are not involved, go to sporting events, plays, concerts and other school events. When the students see you supporting them, they appreciate you more.
Do not favor students. This creates tension in the classroom.
Do not try to be the students' best friend. Be friendly but always keep in mind you are their teacher.