Essay On Teacher Relationships

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A sizable literature provides evidence that strong and supportive relationships between teachers and students are fundamental to the healthy development of all students in schools (e.g., see Birch & Ladd, 1998; Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Pianta, 1999). Positive student–teacher relationships serve as a resource for students at risk of school failure, whereas conflict or disconnection between students and adults may compound that risk (Ladd & Burgess, 2001). Although the nature of these relationships changes as students mature, the need for connection between students and adults in the school setting remains strong from preschool to 12th grade (Crosnoe, Johnson, & Elder, 2004). Furthermore, even as schools place increasing attention on accountability…show more content…
The need for positive relationships with teachers does not diminish as children mature. Support in teacher–student relationships may be particularly salient at transition points, such as the transition from elementary to middle school (Wentzel, 1998). Middle school teachers who convey emotional warmth and acceptance as well as make themselves available regularly for personal communication with students foster the positive relational processes characteristic of support. These supportive relationships help maintain students’ interests in academic and social pursuits, which in turn lead to better grades and more positive peer relationships. Although teachers are not the only source of support for middle school students, the support students receive from their parents, peers, and teachers seemed to have additive, thus fairly independent, effects. Thus, teacher support among this age group may be particularly salient for students who have low levels of parent support (Harter, 1996). Although students have less time with teachers during high school, there is strong evidence that relationships with adults in these settings are among the most important predictors of success. Data from the National Longitudinal Study
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