In a recent TLN article, elementary school teacher Ellen Holmes explained how an emotional connection with her student, whose mother had committed suicide, improved her teaching practice. Learning about the student’s background helped her understand why she was doing so poorly in school. “My lesson to all new teachers is this: relationships with students and their families are far more important than any other benchmark or learning target,” Holmes said.
How emotionally involved should teachers be with their students, particularly with the heightened focus on test scores? Should there be a varied level of involvement depending upon the age and needs of a student? Do relationships with students cross a boundary or lessen your authority?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Talkback blog.