What is an ideal student-teacher relationship? Well, it depends on who you ask for example, positive teacher-student relationships are classified as having the presence of closeness, warmth, and positivity according to (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). However, an overwhelming amount of research seems to agree on one thing: a POSITIVE student-teacher relationship is important! Delpit, in 2005, found that students’ attitudes and achievement patterns were deeply affected by teachers’ commitment to establishing and maintaining relationships with them” (Woolfolk Hoy, et. al, 2006, p. 725). When teachers form positive bonds with students, classrooms become supportive spaces in which students can engage in academically and socially productive ways (Hamre & Pianta, 2001).
I remember when I decided to become a teacher. My goal: to be a positive adult in students’ lives that may not have that at home. And when I decided to get my masters in Educational Psychology a year into teaching it was to become a better teacher. I wanted to be able to better understand my students’ struggles and how they learned so I could relate and CONNECT with them on all levels and ultimately increase their learning. Now I wasn’t an expert, and still am not, however my subconscious must have been aware that this strategy is an effect one because it has become my passion.
I am not the only teacher that feels passionate about building these relationships. Other than the facts pointing toward better student achievement why wouldn’t you want to have a good relationship with your students? I mean you do spend 6-7 hours a day with them 5 days a week. If you don’t like or get along with them I’m sure your time is miserable, imagine how they must feel since you are the authority figure controlling their destiny.
Teaching is a tough profession and it is not for the faint of heart but if you can see the light bulb moments, build those relationships, and know that you ARE changing lives it is the MOST rewarding profession in existence!! Hold on to your passion and don’t lose the spark! I strive to build those relationships and knock down the walls each day and hearing from other teachers helps keep me motivated. So, on that note I’ve even you some research and personal experience now for some inspiring TedTalks and a truthful comic.
Rita Pierson- Every Kid Needs a Champion is an amazing inspirational video to boost your spirits on a tough day.
My favorite line from the video is (my mother) “left a legacy of relationships that will never disappear”.
Positive Videos– This is a Huff post with links and articles referencing multiple TedTalk videos on student-teacher relationships.
TED Weekends emphasizes the importance of the student-teacher relationship
Pianta, R. C., Hamre, B. K., & Allen, J. P. (2012). Teacher-student relationships and engagement: Conceptualizing, measuring, and improving the capacity of classroom interactions Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 365-386): Springer.
Woolfolk Hoy, A., Davis, H., & Pape, S. J. (2006). Teacher knowledge and beliefs. In P. A. Alexander & P. H. Winne (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum and Associates.