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Teachers play significant roles in the lives of children. They are the most important factor in children’s lives after their parents. They are essential in the build of a child personality and the development of academic performance because they spend up to one-third of a day with the children. Children are expected to respect their teachers the way they respect their parents. Building a good relationship between teachers and students is a herculean and challenging task. But if you can overcome the barriers, there will be a positive teacher student relationship which will lead to academic success. Some teachers have the gift of having a good relationship with their students while some need to learn and develop themselves in that aspect.
Poor teacher-student relationship may result from conflict between the two. The teacher may be too strict and have harsh disciplinary actions while the student may be too stubborn and playful. The latter will be angry at his students for disturbing the class while the students may in turn hate the teacher. Also, a child may come from an unstable and chaotic family background which may be transferred to the class out of frustration or loneliness. Another cause of conflict in the teacher-student interaction is when the class is boring, flowing well with the students or when difficult, strange or old teaching techniques are used. Sexual relationships between teachers and students of opposite sex could be a barrier too. All these barriers to a positive relationship in a classroom should be addressed. There are many ways of having positive teacher-student relationship.
Firstly, there should be a trusting relationship and interaction in the classroom. Children tend to respect and like those that love, care, value and respect them. Respect between the teachers and students should be mutual. Students obey the rules and regulations of the teachers that respect their feelings and those that take them into consideration. They can only open up, discuss issues, problems and their fears with the teachers they know will not make jest, discourage or insult them. Good response in the classroom is enhanced when the students can trust their teachers. Close relationship help the shy students and those with low self-esteem build their morale.
Another is the communication level. This is a key that opens the door to a good teacher-student relationship. Teachers should note that the children come from different backgrounds, families and culture thus differences in their values. There is need to understand each student’s strength, weakness, personalities, problems and the level of academic performance. This allows the teacher to know how to deal with each of his or her students. Communication serves as the connection between teachers and students. Students should be free to discuss anything with their teachers and the teachers on the other hand should respond to their student’s need.
Students should be given equal chance to participate in the class room’s activities. Attention should not be given to some students than the others. This increases their confidence and boosts their morale. Chances of trial and error should be given to students. There should be a gap between the periods questions are asked to the period of answer. They should be given time and opportunities to think, reason when asked questions. Average students and those with low academic performance should be encouraged by giving hints and clues to answer.
Also, teachers should correct with love. Mild discipline measures should be used. Both hostile and passive means of discipline should be embraced. Corrections are meant to make them know their wrong – doings, sober and repentant and not make them rigid and hate their teachers. Forms of punishments are not to make them rigid. Canes should not be used always. Students should be exposed to the different forms of punishment. Spoken words sometimes are better than canes as some students are adaptive to canes. Teachers must apply wisdom when correcting the students. The state of health and biological make-up of the students should be taken into consideration. Correction should be private.
Teachers should learn how to handle and manage with stress or difficulties. They should be careful in dealing with their students when they are not in a good mood. Aggression and other end result of stress should not be passed on the students. Teachers are expected to treat them as if the students are their children. Children tend to respect calm teachers than the aggressive ones.
Teachers should be proud of the students when they perform well. Consolation prizes and awards should be given to those with high performances to serve as means of encouragement. Teachers should believe in their students and this should be shown to the students but comparison should be avoided. Students with poor academic performance should also be encouraged. Students should be praised rather than being criticized.
What We Stand to Achieve
When a good teacher-student relationship is established, students’ academic performance will improve. They will be motivated to perform better. There will be reduction of truancy and drop-outs, students will always look forward to seeing their teachers thus stop skipping classes. Students will do well, obey and comply with their teachers’ instructions if the teachers are caring. Special interests are given to the subjects or courses taught by such teachers. This may provide leeway to the choice of profession and employment later in life. Teacher’s confidence in the students will increase the confidence and self-esteem of such students. On the teacher’s part, he or she will be fulfilled, happy and be proud of his or her students’ performances. The joy of being a successful teacher will act as intrinsic motivation.
Good interaction between teachers and students is important in transition classes. A course or subject no matter how complex or complicated it might be will become simple if the students have a good rapport with the teachers. For instance, students will develop interest in the most dreadful courses like Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry if there is a good teacher-student relationship. The same is applied to all level of institution.
Teachers are determinant factors in the choice of career ( Read about choosing a career here). They sometimes act as instructors and most of them are closer to the students than their parents. There must be harmony and agreement between teachers and students. Ensure study environment are peaceful, conducive to enable increase in academic success.
If all these steps are done it will go a long way in improving the wrecked standard of education in Nigeria ( you can read about Fall of Nigerian Educational Standard here )
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