The Power of Positive Student-Teacher Relationships – Thought Partners Educational Leadership Coaching

The Power of Positive Student-Teacher Relationships

In January of 2019, I had the opportunity to visit the Health Sciences High and Middle College (HSHMS), a 7-12 school, and I left impressed and motivated.

There were few things that stood out to me. First, the students learning, social, and emotional well-being a core focus of the school and it was evident in words and actions of both students and teachers.

Second, every adult in the school cared and believed in every student and had high expectations.

As Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher and Dominque Smith state in their book All Learning is Social and Emotional, “All relationships, regardless of the age of the people involved, are predicated on a foundation of respect and regard.” 

The students in this school face many challenges including living in a high crime area, being an immigrant, and/or living in poverty. Yet, the school is a Distinguished School in the state of California and most students graduate with 12-16 college credits as a result of an association with a community college.

All the adults, administrators, teachers, secretaries, custodians, and everyone else, believe in themselves and the students resulting in well-rounded students academically, socially, and emotionally. HSHMS is a true example of collective efficacy in action.

The value of positive student-teacher relationships

There are many other special qualities at HSHMC but I want to focus on student-teacher relationships.

Why?

HSHMC would not be as successful as it is if it were not for the positive student-teacher relationships they foster and develop.

All relationships, regardless of the age of the people involved, are predicated on a foundation of respect and regard.

Student-teacher relationships have an effect size of .52 in relation to student achievement. This is in the Zone of Desired effects based on John’s Hattie’s comprehensive research.

Many school districts use some version of Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching for the purpose of teacher evaluation and Domain 2a: Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport addresses Teacher-student relationships.

Dainielson said it best when she wrote, “Teaching depends, fundamentally, on the quality of relationships among individuals. When teachers strive to engage students in a discussion or an activity, their interactions with them speak volumes about the extent to which they value students as people.”  

I am certain you can remember certain teachers over your K-12 education and how they compared to other teachers.

I remember a 5th-grade teacher, Mrs. Murdoch, no middle school teachers, and a few high school teachers, like Dr. Fountain, Dr. Leonard, and Senorita Shaw. I can also remember a few of the really bad ones as well.

My passion for leadership coaching is so every student thrives academically, socially, and emotional because they have expert teachers and administrators every year from K-12.

Student-teacher relationships are a critical component that expert teachers and leaders exhibit in words and actions.

Teaching depends, fundamentally, on the quality of relationships among individuals. When teachers strive to engage students in a discussion or an activity, their interactions with them speak volumes about the extent to which they value students as people.
—Charlotte Danielson, Founder of the Danielson Group

I want to hear your thoughts on student-teacher relationships

What do you do to develop positive student-teacher relationships in your class, building or district? Let me know.

I have developed a strong interest in the power of student-teacher relationships and their impact on students academically, socially, and emotionally and am conducting some research on the topic.

I want to hear from all educators at all levels from K-12 no matter if you are in a classroom or serving in a building or district.

Please take a few minutes to respond to the questions in this survey and share your thoughts and experiences on student-teacher relationships. These powerful connections can make or break a student.

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences on student-teacher relationships in this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GQN5QZM

Consider engaging with me in a conversation on student-teacher relationships for a future publication. If you are interested, please contact me at Tracey@thoughtpartnerscoaching.com

Or contact me here.

I appreciate your consideration.

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Tracey Shiel

Tracey Shiel is an author and consultant with over 20 years in the field of education. Through Thought Partners, she provides research-based educational services including balanced leadership coaching, professional development, implementation planning, and execution support, and special educational projects of the highest quality. Her passion is with coaching educational leaders to achieve school and district improvement goals while enhancing leadership capabilities.