I visited my hometown in Taraz city during my winter break. At the same time, my little sister had finished the second academic term at a public secondary school. She is 6th grade broad-minded, smart and kind student, who is interested in painting, flora, fauna and astronomy.
However, we had a big drama before the New Year, as my lovely sister took “C” from the subject “Informatics”. My family do not oblige her to study only for “A”, but we were shocked, as she is social-mediated child and understand almost everything in technological devices and programmes better than all of us. My mother talked with her supervisor, who started to criticize her behavior at lessons. The supervisor noted that she always paints at her lessons and had a row with the teacher of Informatics for the reason that she puts tongue out to her. This heartbreaking situation ends with the strong condemnation of my sister by my parents.
After several days, I decided to make sense of the situation concerned. It was very hard to get her to talk due to her constraining and laconic character. Here are the words of my sister:
“My supervisor very strict… You know, she gets nervous when we do not understand the lesson… Someday she said “dull, brainless” to my friend… She was cried… I do not want to ask her questions… I am very boring at her lessons, I do not like her lesson… And… and I am painting then… Teacher of Informatics does not let us to seat to the computers. I do not know why… We read the topic by paragraphs, it is boring too, because I do not understand the programmes that we read… I asked her whether we can use computers to practice the “programme”, she said that she will decide herself when we will be allowed or not allowed to use computers, and if we have a desire to learn it, we can use computers at home…”
– And then you put out your tongue?
– Yes… She screamed at me and said, “You will regret about it”.
Unfortunately, it is only a little part of such situations in regional or rural schools. This situation makes me wonder about the reason of low achievement of smart students, who take a low grade because they do not like a teacher and possibly, teacher also does not like them. This, in turn, implies the value of human relationships in education.
Students spend 9 months every year and 4-7 hours in a day at school and teachers are mostly responsible for the academic and social development of students. Safe learning environment with the basement for social and academic abilities are mostly enabled by the positive relationships between teacher and student (Baker et al., 2008; O’Connor, Dearing, & Collins, 2011; Silver, Measelle, Armstron, & Essex, 2005). There are also findings, that teachers who support positive relationships with students in their academic and social spheres, may impact for their future socialization and adaptation in life (Baker et al., 2008; O’Connor et al., 2011; Silver et al., 2005). Murray & Malmgren (2005) also revealed that students with the low socio-economic background might benefit from the teacher-student positive relationship more than those who had the high socio-economic background, but did not have such relationships.
I found the eight minute exciting talk of the Rita F. Pierson “Every kid needs a champion” about the importance of human relationships and how it makes a difference in their lives. Additionally, this talk will get out the message I wanted to explain in the given post. I am also hold an interest about your own experience on significance of relationships with your students (as a teacher) or with your teachers (as a student/pupil). Does the personal attitude toward the definite person make a change in your choice or even life?
Baker, J. M. (2008). The teacher–student relationship as a developmental context for children with internalizing or externalizing behavior problems. School Psychology Quarterly.
Murray, C. M. (2005). Implementing a teacher–student relationship program in a high-poverty urban school: Effects on social, emotional, and academic adjustment and lessons learned. Journal of School Psychology.
O’Connor, E. D. (2011). eacher-child relationship and behavior problem trajectories in elementary school. . American Educational Research Journal.
Silver, B. M. (2005). Trajectories of classroom externalizing behavior: Contributions of child characteristics, family characteristics, and the teacher–child relationship during the school transition. Journal of School Psychology.