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It takes more than knowing the content to be a good teacher. One of the most important aspects of teaching is building relationships with your students. Teacher-child relationships influence how a child develops. The relationship can relate to a wide range of school adjustment outcomes, including liking school, work habits, social skills, behavior, and academic performance.
In order to be successful you need to know what pedagogical strategies work with your students. Not all strategies will work in every classroom or with every student. Teachers need to fulfill an important attachment by providing students with a secure base and surroundings. Teachers need to work together to better serve their students (Simon, 2001). Teachers must know about students prior experiences and build on them with new learning experiences (Noddings, 2007).
It is the role of the teacher to initiate relationships with students. Teachers need to actively engage and learn about the students. They need to learn likes, dislikes, hobbies, experiences, anything that will make a connection between the teacher and student. Teachers need to have enthusiasm and take a sincere interest in the child (Valenzuela, 1999).
As the child’s teacher, if you take Valenzuela advice on building relations, you know more about the child than the writers of the book you are teaching from. You can adjust the way you teach based on how your students learn and what they take interest in. The curriculum and content being covered will be much more meaningful if delivered in a way the students favor. Teaching methods would be enhanced by a curriculum that contributed to the relevance and interest level of students work and learning experiences. When students are forced to go through material that they are not engaged in they will lose interest. Students need to connect with what they are learning through engagement. Curriculum approaches that promote combined social as well as emotional intelligence of students are much more effective (Noddings, 2007).
A teacher needs to design ways for all students to participate fully, even the shy or quiet ones. Also need to avoid polarization, explore all aspects of a topic. Teachers need to support students in their opinions and encourage them to shift their opinion if warranted. Finally they need to teach the tools of discussion not just the content of the discussion (Simon, 2001).
As a teacher you need to provide and create learning opportunities, encourage peer mentoring and discussion, and encourage collaboration and sharing of knowledge. Allow space for individual approaches to learning. Be flexible and develop and cooperative learning environment. As the teacher you need to allow students to take responsibility for their own learning and act as the student’s facilitator, not just lecture on your own knowledge. Your role as a teacher is to work with students, not to tell students what to do.
While you want to be a facilitator you are still in a position of power; teaching requires authority. The students need to be aware that you are in a relationship where you, the teacher, has the authority in the classroom. The concept of power needs to be a part of the curriculum and be known by students. Without power or authority you can lose respect.
Teachers need must be aware and not abuse power in their relationship with students. While it is essential to gain respect from your student’s educators also must respect the students. They cannot take the role of facilitator into dictator. It is the teacher’s responsibility to be respectful towards their students. You can build a secure relationship with respect and caring together. Students can like you without respecting you or seeing you as the authority figure. If your students do not respect your students, they will not respect you. Teachers and students a like need to display authentic caring that emphasizes relations of reciprocity between one another. Teacher need to genuinely care for their students and their well being. They cannot base their relationship on what academic achievements the student makes (Valenzuela, 1999).
There is a great importance that the students see their teacher as a person. Noddings suggested that a proper relationship is a caring relationship in which the unique needs of both people are honored. Both parties have a responsibility to each other. It is the role of the teacher to make sure that the students and themselves honor their responsibilities (Bryzzheva, 2008).
Teachers have perspectives as to what kinds of relationships they have with any particular student. Teacher’s relationship perceptions can be valuable in assessing the interactions they have with students. As a teacher you must be aware of the liability of a negative or unfavorable relationship. Teachers need to consider negative relationships as grounds for some sort of pedagogical intervention and action to be taken in order to change the unfavorable aspects and turn the relationship in to a valuable positive connection (Thijs, 2008).
If a teacher displays enthusiasm and pleasure in teaching it can rub off on their students. Students will do more of what you want them to do when they like and respect you and are engaged and interested in their studies. A good relationship will lead to the best possible long term outcomes for students and educators the same.
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