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How to build productive teacher-student relationship in classroom

Teacher-student relationship in classroom sometimes can be complicated as relationship between father and son. They are changeable and tender as house plants. Teachers cultivate these relationships for months or even years; however, one careless action by the teacher can ruin everything that was created with such serious effort. Thereby, the question of productive relationships between teacher and students is very important and occupies an important place in the publications or studies.

Why we all need to create effective teacher-student relationship in classroom?

Studies show that students’ productivity and effectiveness directly related to a micro-climate in the classroom. Like John Hattie said, “teachers who have created positive teacher student relationships – are more likely to have the above average effects on student achievement”. So, the goal of every teacher is to build relationship in classroom based on the balance between such components:

  • Creativity
  • Competition
  • Order.

Creativity should be one of the most important components of the modern education because nowadays creativity makes such successful people as Mark Zukerberg. Nowadays you have to propose something new and original to the world to succeed. It is not so simple to build a creative atmosphere in a classroom. Students should feel freedom and perform assignments like they want (naturally, whatever way every student will choose, he or she should achieve the needed result).

Creative atmosphere can be stimulated by a competition between students. It is completely natural and happens by itself. The situation is slightly different with the last component – order. Order is important, there will be nothing without order in a classroom, but it is very important to build an order, which will not stop creativity and competition.

Learn how to create productive teacher-student relationship in classroom

Modern productive atmosphere in a classroom cultivates such habits:

  • To support and listen
  • To encourage
  • To accept
  • To respect and negotiate differences
  • To trust

These are habits that give a sign that atmosphere in a classroom is going to be unproductive:

  • To blame and complain
  • To nag and threaten
  • To criticize
  • To punish
  • To reward for control (bribing)

If you want to build productive teacher student relationships, you can learn and use elements of effective relationship in a classroom. First element is to show genuine care to your students. It is not so simple, because you will truly see two subjects in every student – a learner and a man. And you should show your care to both these parts of every student. Like Theodore Roosevelt said, “students do not care how much teacher knows until they know how much he cares”. Caring relationships involve such components:

  • Empathy. You should understand what is important for students, what they feel and what they need. Be aware of what is going around them
  • Warmth. Sometimes you are like a parent for your student. Show them how much you care, accept them for who they are and show that they are important to you
  • Time. You need time to physically and mentally present when you talk with your students.

The second element is to believe that your students are capable of succeeding. At some moment of their growth you will need to press them to do so. You must understand that your beliefs about every student will subconsciously influence the way how you treat each child. There are really nice Goethe’s worlds on this topic: “If I treat you as what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that”. These steps will help you to believe in your students:

  • Start to believe that children need guidance and structure
  • All children can and should behave well – don’t have any doubts about that
  • All your students can and should improve how well they do at school (and you should help them along their way)
  • Every student will have different way to success – improvement comes from really hard work. That is why some students will need more support than others to meet your standards.

Sometime it will be hard for both parties, but you need to press on some students to understand difficult material. There are two basic elements which create productive teacher student relationship – care and pressure. Many people will see these two elements like polar opposites, but in this case it is not totally true. And you should understand why – effective teachers care about their students and also pressing some of them to do well (also only because they care about them). So, depending on the level of influence of these elements in teacher’s approach, relationship can take three main forms:

  • Aloof relationships (low care and low pressure)
  • Friendly relationships (high care and low press)
  • Authoritarian relationships (high press and low care)
  • High-performance relationships (mix of high care and high press)

In different cases all of these forms can work in some way; however, this won’t be the most effective way in all cases. Combination of high care and high press tells that you twice care about your students.

Relationships between students and a teacher are very important for students’ performance. The more teachers will care and believe in their students – the more likely they will succeed. There are two elements that create a productive teacher student atmosphere – care and press. In this case these are not polar opposites – teacher cares and presses because he cares. Only a combination of high care and high press allows creating high-performance relationships.

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