DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

 

 

I believe that building positive relationships between teachers and students is at the core of facilitating lifelong learning. I have always been interested in exploring the dimensions of learning. Mrs. E, my cooperating teacher has shared important things during the interview, which made me believe that the process of strengthening teacher-student relationships requires consistency, patience, tolerance toward cultural diversity, empathy and compassion. This can be applied to what Boynton & Boynton say, “Its ubiquitous nature makes us feel safe, protected and willing to fulfill our personal and professional goals (2005) (p.19).

 

Thinking about the time when I was an elementary school student, I had a teacher who tried her best to create a reinforcing classroom environment, which was conductive to the process of learning and educational needs of all students. She has always showed empathy and compassion to us. What mostly made me respect this teacher is was her ability to know students as individuals. This makes me believe that building positive relationships with students is entirely in the hands of educators. My teacher in elementary school was always ready to help; she used to make us feel safe and secure. If a stranger came to pick up a student, she used to call the parents first and then let a student go. It is similar to Committee for Children; “It is apparent that a teacher should be a safe person for students, someone that students identify with and feel relaxed and motivated to study in both the classroom and at home” (2014) (p.1).

 

While I was interviewing Mrs. E, she indicated that although everybody knows what teachers are supposed to do, it is important to demonstrate consistency in making students feel safe. Even though she likes consistency, it does not hold her to explore new things with her students. Her position on this was same as Boynton and Boynton’s, (2005); “at the same time, learners should constantly try new things and experiment with different forms of knowledge.” It is apparent that we all learn from mistakes. As Mrs. E discussed, students should be provided with an adequate opportunity to express themselves. Positive relationships between teachers and students depend on emotional and academic needs, as these aspects are clearly interrelated. Even if teachers need to deal with shy or difficult students, as in the case of my cooperating teacher, they should be confident that children are emotionally safe. It is essential to try to catch them doing something right. It is the teacher’s responsibility to implement new, creative techniques to reinforce the classroom and thus the entire learning process (Rimm-Kaufman, 2014). This includes a genuine interest in the individuality of the student and demonstration of positive attitude.

 

I could also suggest that teachers set high learning and behavioral expectations for all students. As a result, learners will tend to demonstrate improved classroom behavior by having fewer conflicts with peers and teachers. A good teacher is the one who always takes the time to understand the way students feel because this aspect is important in building and strengthening teacher-student relationships (Rimm-Kaufman, 2014). Comparing to this, I have also had a teaching experience and I know that listening deeply to the perspectives and concerns of students contributes to improving their self-esteem and independence in learning. In my practice as a student teacher, I have realized the importance of responding with compassion and caring for all students. This almost immediately created a positive bond between me and the class.

 

Teachers can build positive relationships with students by focusing on the ways and strategies they can implement to improve communication. Both communication and extensive listening skills are fundamental to facilitate a solid relationship between educators and students. I am confident that the strategy of communicating positive emotions can significantly help teachers strengthen their relationship with students (Boynton & Boynton, 2005). This in turn positively affects student academic performance. Having a positive attitude toward the entire learning process and students themselves also helps in strengthening teacher-student relationships (Committee for Children, 2014). I think that teachers should always inform students that they have the capacity to perform well on various tasks in the classroom. Teachers are responsible for conveying to the students the idea that making mistakes is closely associated with expanding their learning potential. My cooperating teacher concluded the interview with the words that the most important aspects of building positive relationships with students are understanding these young individuals, trying to reach them, building them up, making them feel safe and encouraging them.

 

Considering all of the above points that were made by the scholars and my cooperating teacher, it is clear to me, that positive relationship in the classroom is important and necessary aspect of classroom environment. The impact of teachers’ relationship with student is very great, and many new in coming or “fresh” teachers do not know about it. This is why I want to write this post, in order to spread my experience and information with others, as well as prove the importance of positive student-teacher relationship in the classroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Boynton, M. & Boynton, C. (2005). Educator’s guide to preventing and solving discipline

problems. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Committee for Children (2014). The recipe for creating positive teacher-student relationships.

Retrieved from http://www.cfchildren.org/advocacy/about-us/e-newsletter/articletype/articleview/articleid/11674/the-recipe-for-creating-positive-teacher-student-relationships.aspx

Rimm-Kaufman, S. (2014). Improving students’ relationships with teachers to provide essential

supports for learning. American Psychological Association. Retrieved fromhttp://www.apa.org/education/k12/relationships.aspx

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.