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Relationships - How do we manage relationships with and amongst students and other staff members?

Professional interactions with colleagues, parents/caregivers and the wider community are vital means of communication that enhances students’ learning, gives insight of particular needs and requirements of students. To create rich, nurturing educational environments in the classroom, schools need to maximize the use of resources available in their communities. Professional interactions with other staff offer the opportunity for teachers to work with colleagues to strengthen their professional practice and deepen their understanding of teaching; through a cycle of planning, teaching, and feedback. The desired outcome of these interactions between teachers is foster the concept of the teacher as reflective and collaborative practitioner.

The qualities for a positive relationship can vary to set a learning experience approachable and inviting the students to learn. A teacher and student who have the qualities of good communications, respect in a classroom, and show interest in teaching from the point of view of the teacher and learning from a student will establish a positive relationship in the classroom. Research indicates that “academic achievement and student behaviour are influenced by the quality of the teacher and student relationship” (Jones et al., 1981:95). I noticed the more that I intentionally connected and communicated with my students; the more likely I was able to help them learn at a high level and accomplish goals quickly. 

Interaction between the student and teacher becomes extremely important for a successful relationship through the entire time of a school year. On professional experience I found that intentionally getting to know my students and generating good rapport was helpful especially for those students who were shy and find speaking in front of the classroom difficult. This gave them the opportunity to feel heard and that their opinion was respected.

Teachers can establish a positive relationship with their students by communicating with them and properly providing feedback to them. Respect between teacher and student with both feeling enthusiastic when learning and teaching. Having established a positive relationship with students will encourage students to seek education and be enthusiastic and to be in school.

Jones, V. F., and Jones, L. (1981) Responsible Classroom Discipline. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc, 95-215.

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