Making Connections with Students

A lot of research suggests that relationships with students do matter. That is, students need to know that you care about them; they tend to be more successful when they aware that teachers have their best interests in mind.

  • The Walk and Talk: Technique by Jim Peterson for making connections with reluctant students (includes instructions). The rationale:

Studies show that at-risk, urban students academically and behaviorally perform better, both academically and behaviorally. for teachers with whom they have a positive relationship.  In the article What Urban Students Say About Good Teaching (Corbett and Wilson, 2002), the authors interviewed 400 students from “inner-city, low-income middle and high schools” to learn what their instructors did that made them effective teachers.  One of the top six factors consistently mentioned by these students was that their best teachers “took the time to get to know the students and their circumstances.”

A few possible complications: Some teachers may deal with sexist attitudes in the classroom (or racist, ableist, homophobic).

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