The importance of good relationships between students and teachers

You walk through the classroom door and are greeted by a smiling teacher who calls you by your name and asks about your day, you instantly feel happier and like you are welcome and accepted in that class. The room is bright and homey, an atmosphere that you have looked forward to all day. The teacher talks to you and knows you; they are someone you want to be around and want to talk to. This describes what a good relationship between a student and teacher feels like and how it can impact someone’s day. But this is not the case with some students and teachers.
Imagine walking into a class and the teacher automatically ignores you and you do the same. The teacher never asks about you as a person and they only care about you as a student. The class may become a burden to go to. This is the impact of a bad relationship between a student and a teacher, this is why it is important for students to have good relationships with their teachers and vice versa.
“I spend more time in my classroom than sleeping,” teacher Elizabeth Bullock said.
A large portion of our weekdays are spent at school, so it is hard to not like the class or teacher you have. Getting to know both the students and teachers around you leads to a more positive environment for others. Having these good relationships does not only include saying ‘Hi’ when you see each other, but it also includes asking about each other’s day and caring about the answer.
“I’m surrounded by students, why wouldn’t I want to get to know them?” Bullock said.
The relationships between students and teachers may not always be social, but that can impact a student’s education and the academics of others.
“Relationships are the foundation of an effective classroom and it’s hard to work with anybody without having a positive relationship,” teacher Zach McClelland said.
Academics are the most impacted by these teacher/student interactions. Students pay more attention to teachers they like, and teachers teach better when they are surrounded by students who care and are invested, which is a result of good relationships. The impact on education is especially evident when students skip classes because they do not like the teacher.
“I would rather have a teacher that is nice, so I wouldn’t feel scared to ask them questions if I don’t understand something,” sophomore Meeah Ochoa said.
But what should these relationships look like?
McClelland, an East High U.S. history teacher, is very passionate about the relationships he has with his students because he knows how important they are to his students’ education and whether they enjoy the class/school. This is shown before his class even starts as he stands outside of his door greeting students by name and asking about their day.
“(McClelland) is kind of like a friend more than a teacher sometimes,” Ochoa said.
At the beginning of class, he has his students take a survey consisting of questions about their day, favorite things, and if they are prepared for the class ahead. Throughout the class period he checks in on students, has conversations with them and cares about what they have to say, this is shown through his constant excitement to listen.
“East has great kids and if you don’t get to know any of their stories then this job is going to be hard,” McClelland said.
It is important to remember to be open-minded and accepting when going into a class whether you are a student or a teacher.
“Be more understanding of each person’s situation outside of the classroom,” senior Joana Rivera said