A relationship that is crucial to a student’s learning process is the one they have with their teacher. To be a successful student, a person has to have a strong relationship with their teacher. This is because the role of the teacher is not only to deliver content but also to foster deeper learning and understanding of that content. Over the years though, there have been changes in the way teachers work and connect with their students. There has been a diminishing rapport between teachers and students. This can be attributed to a variety of factors such as working under demanding time constraints, lack of quality mentoring from veteran teachers, and an increase in student populations.
How The Pandemic Has Strained Teacher-Student Relationships
The importance of student-teacher relationships has always been essential, but the pandemic has made it difficult to cultivate. It has been reported that there has been a decline in the relationship between teachers and their students. Several factors have led to this including a plethora of testing and data-driven instruction, demands from parents and administrators, an increasing number of diverse students with different needs, and more. However, the most notable factor has been the COVID-19 pandemic. The very sudden switch to all students teachers being completely remote severely damaged the relationship between teachers and students.
Some students simply could not learn well from their home and some teachers struggled from home as well. Students were not used to this form of learning and the transition was a rough time for many. It can be hard to cultivate a relationship through Zoom calls and group chats, especially with such a sudden change. It was harder for teachers to check up on their students and with so many bugs and mishaps, it was hard for students to contact their teachers as well.
Students often did not do any of their work and struggled without in-person assistance. Many teachers found it hard to work from home as well. Teachers often left their room and classroom without any supervision so many students would come and go as they pleased which lead to a lack of order and understanding. A lot of students also had little respect for the small amount of authority the remoted teacher had, making class time unproductive for both students and teachers.
Benefits of a Strong Relationship Between Teacher and Students
There are so many benefits to strong relationships between teachers and students. After all, this is the person a child spends most of their time with during the week. It is important to cultivate a positive relationship for everyone’s benefit. Here are five benefits that come from a positive relationship between a teacher and their student.
#1: Understanding of Subject Matter
Having a strong relationship with the teacher will help the student understand course content better. If there is any confusion or problems in understanding, teachers are often able to clear up this because they know what their students are struggling with and which parts are still confusing for them. Also, when students have problems, teachers can offer multiple ways to help them understand. This also leads to a better relationship between teachers and students because they are on the same side, fighting for the student to succeed.
#2: Better Grades
Having strong relationships can help get better grades in school, especially since it is so hard to learn remotely. If the student has any issues or struggles with learning course content, teachers can be there to assist and help them out. Also, since it is harder for teachers to know exactly what their students need, building a relationship can help ease this process too. When someone knows you and your struggles well, it makes it so much easier for them to understand you and the best ways they should help you.
#3: More Opportunities in School
When teachers know their students well, it is easier for them to offer more opportunities. If there are any extra-curricular activities the student may be interested in, this can help make those possible and also make it easier for the teacher to pitch the idea. Teachers will also help their students apply and complete college and other opportunities.
#4: Better Wellness and Mental Health
When students feel like they can talk to someone about their problems and struggles, it helps them so much. If the teacher knows the student well, it is easier for them to offer attention and care when needed. This can also help the student be able to form a good relationship with their teacher. It is so important for people to have a strong support system, especially when in school where many problems may arise.
#5: More Support and Understanding
Finally, when there is a strong relationship between teacher and student, the student feels more supported. This can lead to a better understanding of teachers too which benefits everyone in the class. When there is a strong relationship between teacher and student, it leads to better grades, school performance, and more opportunities.
How EdTech Can Strengthen Teacher-Student Bond When Learning Remotely
Remote learning is becoming more of the norm than it has been in the past. With so many students studying online, some unique challenges come along with this, but it also creates great opportunities. For students to truly succeed in their online courses, there needs to be a strong relationship between teachers and students. Teachers helping students in any way they can is so important in remote learning. Here are some ways that edtech can strengthen teacher-student relationships when learning remotely.
#1: Video Conferencing
One of the best tools to help build a strong relationship between teachers and students is video conferencing. If done well, this tool will allow for much more personal interactions than other forms of communication. Since video conferencing is so personal, teachers and students can build a strong bond quickly through this medium. Also, video conferencing will allow for face-to-face meetings to talk about the student’s progress and how to improve it. This can help strengthen the relationship between teacher and students as it creates a more personable dynamic that is hard to create otherwise.
#2: EdTech that Helps Build Relationships
Some edtech tools can be used to help build relationships between teachers and students. Teachers should search for the right tools to use in their classrooms to make sure they are choosing something effective. There are apps, chatbots, virtual assistants, etc., that can be used to help make the online experience more personal. These tools should be used to strengthen the relationship between teachers and students while learning remotely.
#3: Written Communication Tools
Some of the best ways that teachers can build relationships with their students are through written communication. There are so many great writing tools that teachers should take advantage of. These tools will help students feel more comfortable and open up to their teachers, which can make it much easier for them to develop a strong relationship. The written communication should be meaningful and personalized because this is the best way to connect with students.
Virtual learning is becoming more prominent in classrooms everywhere, but it can present a unique set of challenges that require new solutions. One of the most important things to consider is how teachers and students will interact with each other without being able to see one another. Teacher impact on student achievement is now more important than ever, especially when virtual. Even though it can be difficult, the number one thing that teachers need to do is communicate with their students and prioritize building a strong relationship.
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