Teachers represent faculty and staff who are responsible for using a variety of instructional strategies to address individual students’ strengths and needs, thereby ensuring each student has an opportunity to learn and succeed.
As teachers interact with their students while providing instruction, they play a very important role in establishing a safe, supportive learning environment. Positive teacher–student relationships can have long-lasting effects on the social, emotional, and academic development of youth. Teachers can improve the school’s environment by actively seeking to prevent physical violence, bullying, and emotional abuse in their classrooms and throughout the school by building relationships with students and staff.
Creating a culturally responsive classroom allows teachers to understand the differences among the cultures in the classroom, while still recognizing and valuing individual student needs. Understanding the diverse needs of students can assist teachers with creating relationships with students that are built upon collaboration. In turn, students will feel more empowered to speak out, ask questions, and give input to classroom procedures.
Not only do quality relationships among teachers and students improve students’ academic success, but fostering positive relationships with students' families also can contribute to students’ success in the classroom. Involving families in the educational process should not be viewed as a one-time event (e.g., teacher–parent conferences), but rather as a continual process in which teachers begin to understand the needs of the families they serve and their diverse backgrounds.
Positive relationships and attitudes among teachers and students can support an environment in which students feel safe and learning takes place. Students feel more connected with their school and community when an adult provides encouragement to students to become actively involved within and outside the classroom. Teachers also can coordinate links between the school and community resources to further provide services that enhance classroom instruction.
Bucalos, A. B., & Lingo, A. S. (2005). What kind of "managers" do adolescents really need? Helping middle and secondary teachers manage classrooms effectively. Beyond Behavior, 14(2), 9–14.
LaRocque, M., Kleiman, I., & Darling, S. M. (2011). Parental involvement: The missing link in school achievement. Preventing School Failure, 55(3), 115–122.