I have found to really connect with the students they need to see you as human. So many times students see teachers as this adult who has no connection to them as a person. The teacher is this grown-up who stands in front of the room and has forgotten how to be a kid. She is adult and therefore boring. You need to make a connection with your students that goes beyond the lesson. They need to see you in a way that is seperate from being their teacher, but while you are still being their teacher.
To do this I infuse all my lessons with personal experiences about myself or my family. It allows the kids to see me as human; someone with a life not too far off theirs. And that lets you form a connection with the kids that you might have otherwise missed. And yes I do tend to exagerate my stories for a laugh and to show that I can make mistakes just like they do. It’s almost like my presentation is a stand-up routine or an act/monologue. This doesn’t in any way take away from my role as the teacher; they still know that they need to act appropriately in the classroom. As funny as I can be I do not become their friend; I am always still their teacher. But I become more approachable; if I have made mistakes it must be okay if they make mistakes as well.