How can Teacher-Students' Relationship foster Students' Development lifelong?

How can Teacher-Students' Relationship foster Students' Development lifelong?

“When I look at my Students, I see unlimited possibilities!” ~ Teachers

Think about your favourite teacher. Why do they hold such a spot in your life? Maybe they helped you to finally understand the math you hated so much till now or might’ve inspired in a way that it changed your life? We all can agree on the fact that teachers play an important role in every person’s life as it facilitates the person with his/her early development, social skills and overall growth. Teachers are the first person who interact with the child outside his/her family so they have a heavy burden on their shoulders as their own actions can influence a child very easily. They are not only responsible for the education of the child but also the overall development of the student. Student and teacher relationships are important and should be supportive, positive and healthy. 

Various researchers have found out that, the quality of teacher and student relationship, have a long lasting impact on a person. The students who had bad relationships with their teachers or were very dependent on the teachers in kindergarten resulted in having low academic performance and behavioural issues like poor work habits or discipline related problems. The students who were cooperative or shared a positive relationship with their teacher showed a high level of social skills in their middle schools. The student’s reading achievements were also linked with his/her close relationship with their teacher in kindergarten than the children who were not close to their teachers (McCormick & O’Connor, 2014). This relationship not only benefits the students but also the teachers. According to various researches, teachers who experience close relationships with their students were less likely to avoid school, were more dedicated towards their work and were more self directed, cooperative and proved to be more motivating for the students.

A positive student-teacher relationship results in good social and academic outcomes for the students. Every parent wants their children to be taught by highly skilled and motivated teachers who not only know how to bring out the best in their child but also help in overall growth of the child inside and outside of the classroom. In 2015, John Hattie, identified various influences that are related to efficient learning and achievement. Classroom cohesion, teacher immediacy, teacher credibility, classroom discussion and supportive classroom environment are some of the influences that help with effective learning. Supportive environments coupled with healthy relationships with the students can lead to a successful future for the child both academically and personally. Harmonious classrooms can help the students in the development of creativity as well as reduce anxiety levels among the students. Class environment plays an integral role in a child's life as direct impact on his/her mental health. If the classroom has a healthy and positive environment, child’s growth will be constructive and concrete. But on the other hand, if the child is a part of an unhealthy and toxic school environment, their growth and development will be on standstill and they could suffer from mental health issues like depression, lack of self esteem and confidence, anxiety etc. The impact of a student-teacher relationship on a student's mental health should not be taken lightly. Teachers are positive to act as powerful and effective means to encourage and support the child when he/she might not be able to get it in their homes. In another study by Gillespie (2002), it was stated that the inherent qualities of a student-teacher relationship i.e. caring, trust, mutual respect and caring and a teacher’s rapport with student resulted in an environment where the student can thrive and achieve their best. With positive relationships, the student is more likely to take on academic challenges ad work on their social-emotional development (Bridget Hamre and Robert Pianta, 2001)

It is quite necessary for a teacher to provide an environment for the student to thrive and grow in order to make a way from himself in future successfully. The teacher needs to put in some effort to make the child be more comfortable and forthcoming with their thoughts, be it their problems and grievances or their ideas and achievements. The teacher’s involvement with the students would not only motivate them to do better in their academics but only encourage them towards certain behaviours which would eventually help them in their future endeavours.

Teach with enthusiasm and passion

The teacher should have a positive and encouraging attitude towards the children in the classroom. Effective educators are known to bring the best out of their children and their capabilities. It’ll be the teacher's job to motivate and push the students to do their best. Most of the students would not feel free and motivated if the teacher is not interested and indulging in the class. As teachers demonstrate being interested and joyous in class, it implies that the teacher is not only enjoying teaching, but also enjoys the company of their students. This in turn enhances the relationship between the teacher and students

Displaying a positive attitude

Positive attitude by the teacher promotes a sense of belongingness and encourages the students to participate in the class as well. By giving them an environment where they are free of any judgment and failures, they would be able to explore themselves in different areas as well. The students tend to reflect the positive attitude of the teacher not only in their class environment but also in their daily interaction and life. It inculcates the values like optimism, cooperation which helps to provide a healthy relationship and environment for both the teacher and students.

Encouraging the students

The teacher needs to appreciate and encourage the students for their performance, trials, ideas and efforts constantly. Students should feel that they are valued for their efforts and hardwork that they put forth in their work. This would not only raise their morale and confidence but also urge them to try new territories as well. The teacher should recognize the effort, cooperative behaviour and helping behaviour of the child. Some students might be shy or introverted, so he/she might be uncomfortable with the attention given to them, the teacher could praise the child individually or write comments on their assignment or homework. This behaviour will encourage the student to do their best in their academics as well as the teacher to work more efficiently. 

Create a supportive classroom environment

It is very essential for a child to feel safe and secured in an environment where he himself and his ideas and efforts are recognized. Teachers should be able to promote a healthy and supportive environment for every student in his/her class so that they would develop the idea of cooperation, sharing, teamwork and compassion towards each other. Their social skills would also be enhanced with the said environment. The mentor should not discriminate or play favorites among the children. One student should not feel underprivileged or disadvantaged because a teacher favors one student over others. Everyone should be treated equally and have a fair chance at any opportunity provided to them.

Thus, it is very important to realize that the influence of a good teacher can never be erased.

About the Author

Fiza Abbas

I recently completed my honours degree in Social Sciences and Humanities from Ambedkar University Delhi. Here, an o

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