It’s All About Cordial Relationships

In the classroom, rules matter but student-teacher relationships matter much more

By Jai Madaan

Learning doesn’t happen without relationships. In the classroom, rules matter but student-teacher relationships matter much more. One way we can deepen this relationship is by teachers sharing a bit about themselves with students and vice-versa, and with each other.

When teachers form positive bonds with students, classrooms become supportive spaces in which students can engage in academically and socially productive ways. Positive teacher-student relationships are classified as having the presence of closeness, warmth, and positivity. Students who have positive relationships with their teachers use them as a secure base from which they can explore the classroom and school setting both academically and socially, to take on academic challenges and work on social-emotional development. This includes relationships with peers, and developing self-esteem and self-concept. Through this secure relationship, students learn about socially appropriate behaviors as well as academic expectations and how to achieve these expectations.

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