Strong Student Relationships Aren't Just Beneficial, They're Essential

As educators, we have each had the pleasure of teaching at least one “challenging” student. Some of us have had the privilege of educating the “challenging” student every year of our career. Have you ever taken a second to just stop and think about how you can be most effective in providing that student with a meaningful education? From personal experience, the best strategy for driving any student’s success is to create and establish a positive substantial relationship. Although I have recently transitioned out of the classroom, the importance of creating positive relationships has been beneficial and validated as I became dean of students at Six Mile Charter Academy. What helps to support me through my administrative journey and on daily operations is the power of positive relationships with students and staff members. The crucialness of establishing positive relationships with students and other staff should not be overlooked. It is important to understand strengths as an educational professional because learning is about empowering students to achieve. In order for students to meet goals, teachers must be able to implement strategies to assist in successful attainment.

You Need Strong Student Relationships

My time in a Six Mile Charter Academy classroom only spanned for three years, while I taught seventh and eighth grade math, along with algebra and geometry. As a result of developing ideal relationships with my students, my classroom management had always been effective. While in the classroom, I never called for assistance to remove a student. On the contrary, part of my classroom management technique is creating an atmosphere where students who do not traditionally work together. Another result of my relationship building is my effectiveness to motivate students to succeed by understanding what means most to each individual. Education has become so much more than understanding facts and basic computations, but now has evolved into a continuous wheel of life learning and applications beyond textbooks. Classroom management is the key to fostering an appropriate and lasting education. Without a properly functioning classroom, students cannot learn, feel safe, take risks and grow both personally and academically. Classroom management experts Shirin Nooruddin and Shariffullah Baig wrote in 2014, “it entails developing positive relationships between the students, their teachers, the school leadership and parents.” Building relationships will be the key to implementing classroom management techniques that work to ensure the productivity of students and teachers. Maintaining positive relationships within a school starts with the principal. This requires leadership to manage the behaviors of students by developing positive relationships between all students, staff and the community. Nooruddin and Baig state, “as the ‘captain of the ship,’ it becomes the responsibility of the school leader to have systems in place to prevent disruptive behavior for the smooth functioning and attainment of the school objectives.” Principals, teachers and staff should be displaying behaviors that they want students to exhibit. Students will be more inclined to build and expand their own personal relationships and demonstrate acceptable behaviors if they are seeing others model. When teachers take the time to learn about students’ lives outside of the classroom and the communities that each are a part of, it can help to foster deeper appreciation of situations between both parties. A deeper appreciation can lead to greater trust and communication.
Danielle E. Urowsky graduated from Temple University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Education degree, with a focus in mathematics. After graduating, she moved to Florida, where she has lived for the past seven years. She has worked at Six Mile Charter Academy in Fort Myers, Florida for five years. She spent three years teaching pre-algebra, algebra and geometry to seventh and eighth graders. For the ...

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