By Marli Naidoo
An excellent teacher can change a child’s life. As the most influential role-models for developing learners, they are responsible for more than academic enrichment. A good teacher forms close ties with his learners, and can in this way have a positive impact on a learner’s life inside and outside the classroom. Important life-lessons can be taught, which can determine children’s success after school. The teacher has a life-long impact.
It has been found that positive learner-teacher relationships lower the percentage of children who do not complete schools with so much as 50%. Children are supported academically and socially, and feel more equipped to finish school, follow their dreams, and continue their studies.
Teacher-learner relationships can have a significant influence on acceptance by peers. Teachers’ interaction with learners can influence classmates’ perceptions of individual learners, which than has an influence on who children choose to interact with and accept. Clashes between teachers and learners convey the message that there is a lack of acceptance, which causes learners to also reject the child who was involved in the conflict. This rejection can lead to a low self-image.
The teacher who prepares lessons that are stimulating and interesting and hold a challenge, create motivated children who are eager to learn. These children will achieve more success at academic level.
Children who are inspired by their teachers to use their full potential, will reach higher heights. Inspiration comes in different forms. The teacher can help a learner to get through the academic year, and in so doing achieve a short-term aim. He can also promote the love of a certain subject, which could lead to an enjoyable and successful career. In this way the learner gets to know himself better, and can then make better decisions about his future.
A good relationship between a teacher and learner will build the child’s self-image, which will motivate him to work harder, and promote his ability to learn. Without a good self-image a child is not equipped to build a happy and successful life.
A teacher who respects the children and truly cares for them, also lets them feel welcome an at home in the school. Children can learn to be responsible when teachers entrust them with tasks. These tasks can make them feel that they are making a contribution to their community, and can make a change in the lives of others.
Teachers can afford children the opportunity to make decisions and solve problems. When children are never given this chance, they will not be fully prepared to make the right decisions when they are not told what to do.
A positive and supportive teacher can help children with learning problems to improve academically and strengthen a positive self-image.
Teachers have a huge responsibility and need the cooperation, support and encouragement of parents and colleagues.
NYU Steinhardt: https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/appsych/opus/issues/2013/fall/gallagher
LD Online: http://www.ldonline.org/article/6155/