The Importance of Positive Teacher-Student Relationships
On average, a student spends almost 2000 hours per year in school. That is a significant amount of time that should be utilized well in order to ignite a student’s lifetime love of learning. It is also a significant part of a student’s life to be wasted on unhealthy teacher-student interactions. Experts argue that a good teacher-student relationship is critically important to the direction a kid’s future takes.
Some of the ways through which a teacher can build healthy relationships with each student in the classroom include communicating positive expectations, being fair when implementing rules and regulations, being caring, providing all learners with reasonably fair assessment, and developing classroom pride. Educators can also leverage strong relationships with their students to make teaching fun and effective.
Healthy relationships between teachers and students can significantly boost a kid’s self-esteem, especially for the kids who aren’t fortunate enough to have supportive families. Here are 4 more benefits of establishing positive student-teacher relationships:
1. Overcoming behavioral issues
Most behavioral problems in the classroom result from kids feeling alienated from the community around them. It is normal for a young kid to hate school, but it is not okay when their dislike of school starts to affect their academic record and spoils the classroom environment for other kids. You can prevent this by relating at a personal level with every kid and understanding why the problem kids behave in the manner they do. Being friendly, calm, and approachable will help you understand the socio-economic background for every kid, so you will know how to approach every problem kid without igniting the resistance in him/her. Building a strong relationship with learners helps the kids feel like they belong- like they are a part of a bigger group and a bigger purpose.
2. Boosting academic success
Part of this is the precipitation of good behavior. When you make a kid feel like at home and want to be a part of a greater purpose than just being naughty, the kid is able to repurpose his energy from being rebellious to working hard in the classroom. That will more often than not translate to academic success.
Having a strong bond with your students also helps you to clearly communicate your expectations to and for each student. You are able to motivate struggling students to work hard and the bright students to outscore their current score. In this context, you can motivate them to take additional training classes such as assertiveness training that can help them improve the overall interpersonal skills and gain more self-respect. On their part, the students trust in your ability to help them, so they listen to you more and respect your orders without any resistance. They are also very comfortable consulting you whenever they encounter a hitch in their coursework. All these factors combined boosts the students’ performance. If you’re working remotely, that means that you will be sending a lot of academic materials online. Thus, make sure that the students understand the technicalities of sending emails, sharing files, and converting files to pdf, and the likes. Having a holistic understanding of such technicalities will evade them being discouraged, and actually focus on mastering the material, and succeeding academically.
3. Enhancing students’ social maturation
The nature of rapport a kid has with the adults in his/her life determines how well his social maturation process pans out. A teacher is the non-parental authority figure the kid spends most time with. If you create a positive environment where they can grow their emotional and social intelligence, they are able to mature well in time. Remember that these kids trust and respect you when you are friendly with them, so they will always feel privileged to have such a wonderful adult in their lives. They will want to emulate you and grow into as responsible and caring as you.
4. Improving students mental health
Healthy student-teacher relationships translate to reduced stress and anxiety, especially for the students who come from poor socioeconomic backgrounds and who experience any disorder. One such problem would be children with speech disorders, who because of their problem can be marginalized from their peers which in turn can cause problems in their mental health. In such cases, teachers should support them in their speech therapy and help them get integrated into class. Such kids might be living in neighborhoods filled with hate and crime, meaning that you could be their only source of protection they know besides their parents. Kids who suffer from learning difficulties, on the other hand, usually suffer from low self-esteem. Your love and care will help them develop a sense of self-worth; a sense of pride. That is good for their mental health.
It’s not uncommon for teachers to have challenging relationships with their students, especially when the kid is rebellious and poorly behaved. However, a bad relationship only exacerbates the problem. The kids continue being rebellious, the teacher finds more reasons not to like the kids, and the kids find more reasons to not like the teacher. In the end, your career stagnates and your dreams of changing lives through teaching are shattered. You must start looking for ways to engage each one of your students in a positive way.