Positive relationships are important in an educational setting. Building of positive relationships in an educational set up is very important in an educational institution. The teachers need a positive relationship amongst themselves for them to work as a team in achieving goals and objectives of the school. Every single teacher has a role to play in ensuring that the students achieve the best in the process of leaning.
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This way, every teacher would be helping the other in accomplishing the noble task of ensuring the students’ success either directly or indirectly. The relationship between them must be very cordial for this to happen. The student must live as one family within the learning institution.
As stated in the discussion in Section A of this paper, the learning institution is a community. Within this community, students must cooperate with one another and develop a bond that would help them stay as one. When this good relationship is developed, there are benefits that would be generated by the students. The students would be in a position to share knowledge, thereby enhance their understanding of various subjects.
When this positive relationship is maintained, every student would be the protector of the other. As such, the classroom would be turned into a peaceful environment where everyone cares for the other. A positive relationship should also be developed between the teacher and his or her students.
This would help break the wall the two that could be created by fear, difference in age or knowledge or such other related factors. This will make it easy for the teacher to freely share with the student and therefore understand their unique needs and abilities. This way, the teacher would be in a position to come up with a strategy to help these students.
A number of strategies of building relationships in an educational set up exist, with varying suitability based on time and place of application. In an educational setting, the best strategy that is very relevant is using of strengths and talents in building productive relationship. This strategy, also widely considered as a concept, has been in existence for a very long time but its applicability was developed recently.
Use of Strengths and Talents in Building Productive Relationships
Peters (2002) says that good relationships are very important in a learning institution. This scholar holds that the learner should fist start by ensuring that he or she has a good relationship with himself or herself. This involves the process of ensuring that the learner understands his or her internal self.
An internal conflict is one of the most destructive factors to any learner. When a learner does not have a piece of mind, it would be very difficult to make him or her develop a positive relationship with others. The first step in ensuring that a student has a peaceful mind is by ensuring that he or she understands his or her strengths and weaknesses.
A student should be made to believe that he has the potential of doing something meaningful, even if this is extra-curriculum activity. By appreciating himself, such a student would open up for greater potential in many other areas. Such a student would be social and able to relate easily with fellow students and even teachers. Heydon (2003) says that emotional and social skills can help young learners to be high achievers. This is because such a student would be able to appreciate the reasons as to why they are in school.
Baca and Cervantes (2004) say that talents are some of the best traits that can help students integrate easily amongst themselves. In a school set-up, there would always be various talents and capabilities. The talents may be on academics or co-curriculum activities. The teacher has the responsibility of identifying talents from the students at an early stage of life. In many occasions, students fail to realize that they are talented in one way or the other.
A teacher, as a professional and one with experience, has the responsibility of ensuring that the student is helped in developing this talent. This is important because once a student realizes that he has a special capacity in doing relevant things in the school, he would find it easy to accept and appreciate himself as an equal member of the society. This self-acceptance, according to Brimijoin, Marquissee, and Tomlinson (2003), is the first and most important step in developing a good relationship within the learning institution.
Strengths are also key factors in ensuring successful building of relationship. It is a common that a student would be strong in one area, and weak in another. As a teacher or a professional, it would be very important to dwell on the student’s strengths and not their weakness. This does not mean that the weaknesses should be ignored. The ultimate goal of the teacher is to ensure that every student conquers her weaknesses in order to be at par with other students.
However, this should be done in a way that would enable the learner not feel weak before the rest of the students because this may make him or her recoil and confide in himself, a fact that may hinder good relationship in the classroom. As such, the teacher and other concerned individuals should approach the issues by looking at the strengths of the learner, however negligible the strength could be.
By capitalizing on the strength of the learner, Heydon (2003) says that the learner would gain confidence in him. It is this confidence that would be used to fight the area of weakness that was identified. The confidence would help foster good relationship with fellow students, teachers, and other members of the learning institution.
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The student would manage his or her weaknesses knowing that there are areas where he or she has more strength as opposed to other students.
Heydon (2003) strongly supports the idea of building a strong relationship with the help of student strengths and talents. This scholar appreciates the fact that a learning institution needs a serene environment in order to facilitate student success. This scholar further notes that this serenity is not just ensured through identification of a good natural environment. This serene environment starts with those who are in the environment.
The teachers and the students alike have the responsibility of ensuring that the environment is peaceful and that everyone is a guardian of the other. When one identifies his or her strengths, the next important thing would be to appreciate that he or she also has some weaknesses that needs to be improved on, and that other students to have some strengths that need appreciation. This way, no student would look down upon the other because of this mutual understanding.
Perception, attitude, and feelings are some of the defining factors that define relationship in the learning environment. Perception is a key factor that defines relationship amongst students and teachers. There are some perceptions that are always misguided. In a learning institution, it is common that a learner may have certain perception either towards the teacher or towards fellow student.
A teacher may also bear some perception towards the student or even fellow teachers. If the perception were positive, then this would be okay because the consequence would be positive. In the perception is negative, and then corrective measures should be taken to ensure that the perception is changed. Villa, Thousand, and Nevin (2004) say that perception shapes ones attitude. Attitude would in turn shape up all the steps to be taken by the learner or the teacher.
In case a teacher develops a negative attitude towards students or a section of students, the relationship may sore, and there will be equal measure hatred between the two parties. Nothing positive can come out of this in a learning institution. Similarly, hatred between students themselves due to negative attitude can have a devastating effect, as there would be animosity within such a class. The feelings, which is another product of attitude, may have positive or negative effect on the class, depending on its nature
Building a positive relationship in a learning environment is one culture that every individual must make attempt to maintain.
Baca, L., & Cervantes, T. (2004). The bilingual special education interface. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
Brimijoin, K., Marquissee, E., & Tomlinson, C. (2003). Using data to differentiate instruction. Educational Leadership, 60(5), 70-74.
Heydon, R. (2003). Literature circles as a differentiated instructional strategy for including ESL students in mainstream classrooms. Canadian Modern Language Review, 59(3), 463-75.
Peters, J. (2002). University-school collaboration: Identifying faulty assumptions. Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. 30(3), 229-243.
Villa, R., Thousand, J., & Nevin, A. (2004). A guide to co-teaching: Practical tips for facilitating student learning. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.