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Discuss About The Healthy Relationships And Building Developmental Assets In Middle School Students.

The Importance of Social Interactions in Cognitive Development

Fostering a classroom learning environment that is based on effective teacher-student management and building positive relationships is essential because it makes teaching to be easier and students to understand the content without difficulties (Pace, 2017). From scenario 1, there are various things that seem to hinder proper learning. According to Mariko (2011), the nature of learning environment which students are subjected to determine the perception which they have towards education. This can be linked Pageant’s assertion that environment has a significant influence on child development. Pageant’s theory explains not only how children attain knowledge but also provides an insight concerning the nature of intelligence and how learners interact with their environment to have a cognitive development. Therefore, it is virtuous to ensure that the students’ willingness to learn is encouraged by positive relationships with their teachers.


Various theorists such as Vygotsky have discussed about the importance of social interactions in cognitive development.  According to his theory, there is an essential role of social interaction in the development of cognition. Vygotsky believed that the interactions which children have with their parents, teachers and the community have a significant influence on their development. This suggests that fostering positive relationship between a teacher and his/her students can assist those who face various barriers to success to prosper in their studies. According to Maria (2017), positive engagement and positive relationship implies that the teacher relates well with students irrespective of the differences which they have. It also means that the teacher is always willing to give assistance to students with learning problems and also other issues which may prevent them from attaining their goals (Riley, 2011). From the case study, there is an indication that there are some challenges which may hinder good engagement and relationships not only between the teacher and students but also among the students. To foster a virtuous relationship, the teacher should understand each student’s personalities and treat them with respect. Being positive and enthusiastic is also essential in enhancing the teacher-student relationships.

From this scenario, some of the students have single parents who cannot provide homework assistance to the students. This means that the teacher need to provide an opportunity for such students to learn what other students can. To assist these kinds of students, it is essential for the teacher to have a personal relationship with the students (Riley, 2011). This should be attained through assisting the students as much as possible by creating some time to talk with them during their free times to identify some of the concepts that they do not understand especially in regard to their homework. The teacher should also embolden them to try completing the assignments through attempting the areas where they can and always seek assistance on those that they experience challenges. By doing so, the students will feel that the teacher cares for them and will begin viewing him as an important person in their lives.

Assisting Students with Learning Problems

According to Barnes (2013), when a teacher establishes positive relationship with students, it becomes easy for him/her to influence the learners to do something. From the case study, the students take long to settle in class when at the beginning or when they return from play time. Having this kind of challenge may be harmful to learning because it wastes the time allocated for each lesson. In this case, the teacher should identify the best tactics that he can use to make the students to easily get influenced or obey what he tells them to do without challenges (Riley, 2011). An example of such tactics may include knowing every student by name and avoiding excessive use of threats and punishment. Kafele (2013) affirms that when a teacher knows a student by name, he/she feels the teacher is interested on him/her and will therefore develop a feeling that fosters a positive relationship with him/her.


Zuosheng (2012) asserts that fostering a positive relationship between teacher and students is essential because it makes the students to always remain attentive during lessons. When a students has a negative attitude towards the tutor, the chances of being absent minded or concentrating on other non-essential things are always high because the student tends to feel that he/she does not need to be associated with the teacher (Riley, 2011). On the other hand, students who have good relationship with their teachers view them as their friends and therefore are always interested on everything that the teacher says. To enhance relationships the teacher should encourage after school clubs, maintain an open door policy greet students when they walk in class and offer one-on-one support.

Based on the teacher-student relationship theory which was aligned with the attachment theory by Bowlbly and Ainsworth, good relationship between a teacher and students enable the learners to feel motivated and realize a supporting environment for social and academic development (Riley, 2011). From the scenario 1, many students cannot stay focused throughout lessons, and have negative attitude towards learning. This kind of attitude is harmful because it makes students even those who are bright not to perform better in their exams and assignments. To address this issue, the teacher should show the student the love he has for them so that he can enhance a good relationship with them (Zuosheng, 2012). The importance of good relation, in this case, is that it will assist the teacher to successfully convince the students that education is imperative for their lives and it is important to always strive towards attaining better results.

Influencing Students to Remain Attentive during Lessons

According to Jenifer (2013), fostering a positive classroom learning environment that is based on effective teacher-student relationships is good because it makes students to see no barriers in seeking assistance from their teacher. From this scenario, there are students who are in serious need of the teacher’s assistance especially those who do not have anyone else to assist them with their homework and other things that are essential in their learning. To make these students benefit like other students, the teacher should show them that he is always willing to assist them even during his free time.


This scenario also implies that some of the students arrive late and need to be provided with breakfast before they start the day. Because it is difficult to learn without food, striving to ensure the students are provided with breakfast can also make them to love the teacher and hence make it easy for him to make the students understand the concept (Patrick, 2013). Striving to ensure they get breakfast through talking to the management, for instance, can make the students to feel that the teacher both loves and cares for them.

According to James (2012), fostering a positive relationship towards a teacher and students makes the students to understand concepts without difficulties. From this case, some of learners do not know what to do even when in-depth instruction are provided. This implies that there is no positive teacher-students relationships because if they can’t understand even when detailed explanations are provided, it means they remain absent minded during the lessons (Yuanhua & Lincun, 2013). To build a good relationship, it is good for the teacher marketing learning fun through including interesting stories when teaching. According to Jan (2011), sticking to the content make students to feel that the teacher is boring and hence start not only hating him but also his lessons. Therefore, it is always good to incorporate teaching with other things that the students find interesting such as makes jokes or narrating funny and educative stories. This tactic makes the students to like the teacher and always miss his/her lessons.


From this scenario, the teacher can foster a learning environment that is based on effective teacher-student relations through various tactics. These include striving to ensure the disadvantaged students especially those from single parents who cannot assist them with their homework gets help on concepts that they do not understand, and those who have low self-esteem are motivated and shown that they can make it in life. Providing positive comments and avoiding excessive use of punishments and threats can also be an essential strategy of enhancing teacher student relationships.

The teacher can also foster good relationship through knowing all students by their names and using unique teaching tactics that involve the use of funny stories during the lessons. This will make the students to remain attentive and also to view the teacher as their friend. Striving to ensure the students get breakfast is also essential in promoting relationships because it makes the students to feel that the teacher loves them and cares for their needs.

References

Barnes, Management. (2013).  Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom.  Alexandria, VA: ASCD

James, O. (2012).  Connecting for a Change? One Teacher's Efforts in Malawi to Develop Better Relationships with and between Her Students Encourages Students to Persist in School.  Phi Delta Kappan, 94(1), 76-97.

Jan, L. (2011).  Observing Emotional Interactions between Teachers and Students in Elementary School Classrooms.  Childhood Education, 87(4), 78-94.

Jenifer, D. (2013). . Enhancing Understanding of the Nature of Supportive School-Based Relationships for Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma.  Canadian Journal of Education, 36(1), 78-99.

Kafele, B. K. (2013). Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire up Your Students to Strive for Success.  Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Maria, P. S. (2017).  Students' Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties: The Role of Teachers' Social and Emotional Learning and Teacher-Student Relationships.  International Journal of Emotional Education, 9(2), 67-86.

Mariko, C. (2011).  Healthy Relationships and Building Developmental Assets in Middle School Students.  Canadian Journal of Education, 34(3), 23-54.

Pace, D. (2017).  The Decoding the Disciplines Paradigm: Seven Steps to Increased Student Learning.  Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press

Patrick, S. D. (2013).  Student Responsibility and Self-Directed Learning: An Interview with Christine McPhail.  Journal of Developmental Education, 36(3), 67-76.

Riley, P. (2011).  Attachment Theory and the Teacher-Student Relationship: A Practical Guide for Teachers, Teacher Educators and School Leaders. New York: Routledge

Yuanhua, C & Lincun, D. (2015).  New Relationship between Teachers and Students Based on the New English Curriculum Criteria.  Canadian Social Science, 11(3), 65-76.

Zuosheng, S. (2012). An Empirical Study on New Teacher-Student Relationship and Questioning Strategies in ESL Classroom.   English Language Teaching, 5(7), 34-54.

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