The Power of the Teacher-Student Relationship


   Many students would agree that a teacher can make or break their school experience. Teachers help students learn many skills that they will use in the future, which is a blessing, but some teachers go the extra mile.

   “Mr. Pitner gave me a big opportunity with e-sports,” said Jarmaro Bean, sophomore. “It gave me an opportunity to express myself through that.”

   There are a lot of ways teachers can make meaningful connections with students, whether it’s through a sport, a club, or even just a casual conversation.

   “I think it’s just my personality,” said Mr. Cox, Science Department Chair. “I try to get to know students, it helps me understand them and makes it a little more interactive.”

   Connections with students are very important. It has a major effect on the way many of them look at school, and can even motivate them to get out of bed in the morning. 

   “(Mr. Cox’ Honors Chemistry class) is a hard class, but I still enjoy coming to it every day,” said Zayne Casstevens, a sophomore. “It’s a fun class, and it has fun conversations.”

   Not only do these relationships benefit students, but even teachers notice the effects that building connections can have.

   “I think it makes the learning process better for both sides,” said Mr. Cox. “If the students know the teacher cares, they are more willing to cut some slack.”

   The slack can take the form of coming to class on time, doing homework, or even just paying attention. A lot of students look at teachers as people who just work in the building. However, if a teacher just takes time out of their day to address a student by name and have a casual conversation, it can really humanize that teacher to his or her students. Even well thought out teaching plans can help students see teachers in a new light. Studies show that academic discussions during class greatly deepen understanding in students. (Why Are Academic Discussions So Important for our ELLs?) 

   “If I know who the teacher is,” said Jarmaro Bean, “it’ll make me strive to do better in their class.”

   In the end, it all comes down to respect. If respect only goes one way, teaching and learning can be a difficult process. Luckily, many teachers try their very best to create meaningful contacts with students and enhance the learning process. 

   “I think it’s important you treat people like people, and not just your students,” said Mr. Cox.