Offering students trust and guidance

Talented students need a sense of autonomy to thrive. In order to engage on a personal level and take on challenges they must experience an atmosphere of trust and guidance, when working with their teachers.

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Offering trust and guidance requires a strong foundation of mutual respect between the student and the teacher. This foundation depends on three factors:

  • Equality
  • Curiosity
  • Authenticity


As a teacher for talented students your priority should be to support the students learning process by offering trust and guidance. Rather you should engage in a true collaboration instead of staying in a traditionally distanced teacher-student relationship.

Questions for reflection

1. In order to establish equality and at the same time maintain a necessary asymmetry that allows you to still act as a teacher with formal responsibilities in the classroom, how can you bridge the traditional gap between a student and a teacher?

2. When you express curiosity towards a student it is important not to overstep the boundaries between being personal and being private. How do you use tools of communication to assure that you find this balance?

3. It is important to talented students that their teacher is genuinely interested in their work and their opinions. How do you express your interest equally sincere to all your students?

Wolfensberger, Marca V.C. 2012, Teaching for Excellence Honors Pedagogies revealed, Waxmann, Münster Germany

University College Copenhagen, Institute of Teacher Education, Denmark

Nina Troelsgaard Jensen – Ass. Prof., Copenhagen Honours College, University College Copenhagen, Denmark

Tanja Nieuwenhuijse – Student, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

Andreea Ursu – Student, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania

Nicoline Lyng Strange – Student, University College Copenhagen, Denmark

Photography: Kristian Nøhr Jensen – Senior Consultant, University College Copenhagen, Denmark

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