Truth be told, the teaching profession is one of the noblest of professions. I have been in the teaching profession for over nine years and I have been interacting with students.
During school years, students spend more time interacting with their teachers than they do with their parents. This is why the effects of teacher-student relationship in the overall development of the student cannot be ignored.
During my high school years, physics and mathematics were my favourite subjects. The choice of these subjects as my favourites in those days had a lot to do with the teacher. My physics /mathematics teacher then, Mr. Ahamefuna, had in-dept knowledge of these subjects and also made extra effort to see that we understood them. This made him my favourite teacher then. In return, he also took personal but platonic interest in me by giving me extra exercises in coaching on those subjects during break periods. This eventually led to my having the best results in the two subjects.
Research shows that positive teacher-student relationship results in good social and academic outcomes. Positively productive teacher-student relationships, combined with supportive classroom environment provide a platform in which students are motivated and encouraged to develop academically, mentally, socially and in other areas.
A teacher-student relationship should involve elements such as adequate knowledge, care and reasonable/positive pressure, trust, and mutual respect.
How to develop positive relationships with your students as a teacher:
- Approach teaching with passion and enthusiasm
- Know your students and their temperaments
- Show that you care for your students and also apply reasonable/positive pressure on them to perform better
- Help and guide your students to achieve both academic and social objectives
- Positively challenge your students to develop thinking skills
- Make learning to be fun and exciting
- Have a structured environment (classroom) with realistic rules/regulation and disciplinary/corrective measures for deviants
- Interact with your students in a respectful manner (they will surely reciprocate this)
- Avoid anger-oriented or destructive disciplining of students
- Show interest and get some knowledge in your students’ background, interests, and academic strengths and weaknesses, and use this knowledge to positively impact in your students’ lives and improve on their performance
- Display positive attitude and encourage same in the classroom to avoid bullying and intimidation among students.
One of the challenges teachers encounter in their job is handling of difficult students. No matter how well you handle students, there is the possibility that some of them will still prove to be difficult.
Difficult students are those students who have consistent and intense discipline problems. They do not usually respond positively to discipline.
Handling Difficult Students:
As a teacher, difficult students are not your enemies. You need to see their behaviour as acts of juvenile delinquency and youthful exuberance.
There are definitely many ways to handle difficult student, however, constant punishment or discipline is not one of them. Instead of applying the rob all the time, the teacher should take out time and have a one on one chat with the student concerned. The chat should be tactically initiated with genuine friendliness and love with the sole intention to improve the student. Don’t initiate the chat with scolding. Instead, let the student know some positive things you have noticed about him or her. This complimentary initial approach draws the student’s attention. Then, engage him/her in discussion to understand the student’s challenges, interests, etc, and finally counsel the student accordingly. This approach will end up making the student develop more trust in you as his/her teacher, thereby strengthening your relationship with him or her.