Teen Life: By Students For Students

Relationships: Teacher and Student


At times, adolescents might be hesitant to establish a deeper connection with their teachers. But, as many have found, the relationship between a student and a teacher are often as significant as those with other teens.

Research shows that a secure teacher-student relationship can have a substantial impact on academic success. When students consider their teacher as a supportive friend, they are more prone to learning. Teachers also report that when students experience a sense of support from them, they are more likely to engage in school-related activities.

Sara Rimm-Kaufman and Lia Sandilos, Ph.D at the University of Virginia conducted two studies regarding the positive relationships within students and teachers. One inquiry investigated nearly 4,000 students who came from families with a low-income. In the end of the study, the results emphasized the presence of positive student-teacher relationships. They found that a positive and orderly school environment in elementary and middle school were strong predictors of gains in math outcomes — much stronger than class size, teacher experience, or availability of instructional supplies.

In another study, urban high school students with behavioral and emotional problems were assigned to be involved in weekly interactions with teachers, monthly calls to the students at home, and increased praise from adults. Those students presented higher grade point averages over the five-month intervention period compared to their peers.

These researches point toward an important message which should be taken seriously in account for the duration of a teenager’s school life: students will be more involved in their academic life if teachers and students formed a positive connection.

Upholding close relationships plays another critical role in the social and emotional behavior of adolescents. Through deeper relationships, teachers are able to support students in regulating emotions and assisting problems by putting forward more suitable rules.

According to Kirby Hall, a school in Texas, when students recognize that a teacher sincerely wishes the best for their students, they become willing to try harder during class. Many students do not understand that schoolwork, while not necessarily fun, is beneficial for them in the long run. Unfortunately, many students view schoolwork on a superficial basis; it is stereotypically viewed as a dragging chore of academic work. Nonetheless, by building a stronger relationship with students, teachers can help their students recognize the value of education and learning in an environment that is rich in encouragement and growth opportunities.