Teacher Student Relationships

Teacher Student Relationship: Wellbeing
News flash – recent research is backing up what most of us already know! As students, we’ve all experienced teachers who were in bad form at one time or another, and a teacher in a bad mood can really affect the mood of individual students as well as the whole class. If you’re a teacher, you probably know the power you have to affect your students’ wellbeing, good and bad. That was certainly the case when I taught – if I wasn’t feeling well I’d try to rise to the occasion or engage the students in something that required little activity from me, but I’m sure they could sense it.

What’s interesting about this study is that it begins to prove the association. This is where science becomes really valuable, even if it’s pointing out the obvious. By having proof that teachers can negatively affect students’ wellbeing, we can begin to measure the cost, and when we know the cost we can argue to improve teacher’s wellbeing, from an economic perspective. If it costs money, people take action.

The question then is what can we do? This study shows that it’s related to presenteeism and student-teacher relationships; in other words, time. Teachers spend a huge amount of time doing extra-curricular activity, some of it such as yard supervision is unavoidable, but the monotonous jobs such as homework and exam correction take up huge amounts of time and can now be avoided – to an extent at least. By using education technology, teachers can free up time (and stress) from some of this work, allowing them the opportunity to properly engage with their students. A virtuous cycle begins where teachers and students continue to improve each others wellbeing.
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