[STAFF EDITORIAL] Get to know teachers as people


Annika Kim

OUT-OF-CLASS. All teachers and students enjoy participating in various activities. Getting to know teachers’ interests, and sharing out of school experiences, can help develop meaningful relationships beyond academics.

Students should use tutorial to not only get ahead in academics but also form good relationships with their teachers.
Although it seems obvious that students should use tutorial time to check in with teachers, many students and teachers agree that this period is often used to complete homework instead. Tutorials are an excellent time to check in with them, even if the material is relatively easy. Using this time wisely can strengthen communication skills and help students excel in academics.
According to an article published by the European Scientific Journal, “Good and effective communication can help a well-trained teacher to develop a good relationship with students.” It is important to form these bonds because it generates trust between students and teachers, thus allowing the student to learn more efficiently.

Students shouldn’t only go see teachers when they need something.

Another study by the American Psychological Association, showed that when students have good relationships with their teacher, “[they are] likely to trust [their] teacher more, show more engagement in learning, behave better in class and achieve higher levels academically.” These levels of academics can be achieved throughout all aspects of school life.
A Review of Educational Research analysis found throughout 46 stories that “strong teacher-student relationships were associated in both the short- and long-term with improvements on practically every measure schools care about: higher student academic engagement, attendance, grades, fewer disruptive behaviors and suspensions, and lower school dropout rates.”
Clearly, meeting with teachers weekly to form relationships can greatly improve academic performance. Students are more likely to be engaged and therefore receive better grades.
However, students shouldn’t only go see teachers when they need something. They should use the time to share activities they do outside of class. Teachers are interested in knowing what interests their students have and who they are as people.
Stronger student-teachers relationships can not only help with academic growth but also students’ long-term social development. According to the Waterford organization, “A teacher’s impact on their students can last long after the end of the school year. After a student has a meaningful connection with their teacher, they’re more likely to form similar relationships in the future.”
In fact, relationships in general and not just with teachers can help students with their social skills. According to the Headspace organization, “Connecting more deeply to just one person can also help people get closer to other people in their life.”
One of the hallmarks of an SPA education is the emphasis on building lifelong connections within its community. Students should take the time to form these connections with their teachers.