Skip to main content

Improving students’ relationships with teachers has important, positive and long-lasting implications for students’ academic and social development, according to the American Psychological Association.

Solely improving students’ relationships with their teachers will not produce gains in achievement (see "High quality academic instruction"). However, those students who have close, positive and supportive relationships with their teachers will attain higher levels of achievement than those students with more conflictual relationships. If a student feels a personal connection to a teacher, experiences frequent communication with a teacher, and receives more guidance and praise than criticism from the teacher, then the student is likely to become more trustful of that teacher, show more engagement in the academic content presented, display better classroom behavior, and achieve at higher levels academically. Positive teacher-student relationships draw students into the process of learning and promote their desire to learn (given that the content material of the class is engaging and age appropriate).

This emerging body of research is intruiging.

Having seen so many examples of good student-teacher relationships over the decades, it is a joy to look at the current results among peers who cherish these learning experiences many years later.

 

Teachers who foster positive relationships with their students create classroom environments more conducive to learning and meet students’ developmental, emotional and academic needs. Here are some concrete examples of closeness between a teacher and a student: 1) A seven-year-old girl who is experiencing divorce at home goes to her former first grade teacher in the mornings for a hug of encouragement, even though she is now in the second grade; 2) A fourth grade boy who is struggling in math shows comfort in admitting to his teacher that he needs help with multiplying and dividing fractions; 3) A middle school girl experiences bullying from other students and approaches her social studies teacher to discuss it because she trusts that the teacher will listen and help without making her feel socially inept.
In this age of very diverse learners and learning styles, positive teacher-student relationships have different looks and feels in the classroom. Individuality + diversity + = simple + complex.

And of course, there is is theory, there is research, and then there is the bottom line: practice.

A lot of anecdotes swim around in my "institutional memory" as a student and teacher. So it would be a rich experience to have fellow educators share on this topic.

How do you develop teaching practices that are conducive to high student achievement and compatible with the personal style of you and your students?

   

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Join us at Young People's Pavilion for a journey through children's literature. And follow this discussion on Twitter

    by The Book Bear on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:33:52 PM PDT

  •  This: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane
    If a student feels a personal connection to a teacher, experiences frequent communication with a teacher, and receives more guidance and praise than criticism from the teacher, then the student is likely to become more trustful of that teacher, show more engagement in the academic content presented, display better classroom behavior, and achieve at higher levels academically.

    Positive teacher-student relationships draw students into the process of learning and promote their desire to learn (given that the content material of the class is engaging and age appropriate).

    Teachers who foster positive relationships with their students create classroom environments more conducive to learning and meet students’ developmental, emotional and academic needs.

    I found this to be especially true (with emphasis on key words highlighted) during my 15+ years of teaching special ed/early intervention.  

    The population that I served were extremely diverse in ability, age & experiences.   Parents/guardians were another very important & unique component to the mix.  

    It was a certainty that both the child and the parent/guardian had endured some form of individualized trauma that impacted the many aspects of trust.  So building trust was the imperative 1st step towards skill acquisition & parental partnership.  

    Simultaneous to building trust was creating an environment that fostered a desire to participate/learn & providing positive reinforcements throughout the entire learning process.  Key:  Individualized.

    While my experiences were isolated within teaching developmental norms along with pre-academics and then later on ABA, those of my peer friends in regular and special education report successes utilizing the same or similar principles outlined in the referenced article.

    The practical applications of these principles are already in use by some therapists & educators & whether for special or regular ed, I wish that these principles were standard-across the board.  Taught in university & applied.

    Of the hundreds of kiddos that passed through my classroom door, I can honestly only recall two that the use of these principles had zero effect on.  

    One had a disorder with which one manifestation was constant involuntary self mutilation.  Sadly at the time, this negated any form of interventions (outside of prophylactic).  The other child moved away & frankly I do not have a clue as to why any process with any teacher or therapist did not work.

    •  If the sole objective of teaching is student (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus
      achievement  then we should be compelled to ask ourselves at what cost. We should struggle deeply over the word achievement.
      Does achievement on standardized test serve students, or the status quo?
      Will using your personal teaching style liberate learners or restrict them?
      Teddy Roosevelt said, "To educate a child without morality is to educate a menace to society" Where is the morality in focusing on achievement defined as improve test scores?
      If by achievement you mean focusing on service, debating the truth, and personal and social inquiry well then you might have something conducive to something that is personally meaningful to learners. We might have something that needs to be project based, and students would have to defend what they are learning.
      Book Bear, I am worried that the simple answer reformers are stealing the heart of teaching and learning in public education.
      writes Jesse Turner.
      Fredrick Douglas said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.”
      My thinking is Americans needs to struggle with the foolishness behind testing and standards. American education history is full of new testing and new standards failures. Blaming children, teachers, and our public schools for everything is the coward's way out of the struggle to educate our children. If testing was the answer then shouldn't we have seen results in the last hundred years?
      I find great wisdom in Douglas's words: "It must be a struggle", and I see truth in Roosevelt's concern about education without morality. Education needs that rain with plenty of that powerful Douglas thunder and lighting.
      I am not sure I answered your question, but teaching and learning are complex, and defy simple solutions. They deserve a constant deep struggles, and not slogans like Leave No Child Behind, or Race To The Top. They also deserve leadership with experience and respect for the history of education and democracy. I don't know about you, but I have not seen that type of educational leadership in Washington in decades.
      Tired of slogans,
      Jesse The Walking Man Turner

      Join us at Young People's Pavilion for a journey through children's literature. And follow this discussion on Twitter

      by The Book Bear on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:52:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing this. (0+ / 0-)

        Each of the little humans that I served had varied windows of opportunity in order to become.  Some had a larger window than others.  It was vastly different than formal education...or what is now being offered.  

        Basically our role-my role-was to expand their window developmentally.  And in order to do so, each child had to be worked with 1:1, given individualized goals & always look for ways to encourage achievement.  Even if it meant looking outside the box (always!) or revamping-discarding what did not work.

        Another Kossack once wrote something that was at the heart of how I "taught" & which I now share in my advocacy work with other parents to aid them on their journey.

         This treasure is what he/she wrote:

        The word education derives from the Latin meaning "to draw out", not to pump in.

        The purpose of education should be to aid the child to fulfill their full potential without any preconceived limits.

        Now that should be the same whether the limits of their ability is to become a Nobel Laureate or to lift a spoon of food to their mouth.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site