1. TEDTalk — Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion
I love TedTalks, and my former English teacher sent this to me as I was trudging through my freshman year of college. In this video, Rita Pierson —— a teacher for 40 years —— galvanizes teachers to personally connect with their students and to believe in the power of those connections. Here is a clip that forever sticks with me, because it is what my former English teacher did for me & my classmates: “We teach anyway because that’s what we do. Teaching and learning should bring joy. HOw powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion. Every child deserves a champion, and an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they could possibly be.”
2. NPR Morning Edition — Experiment Tests if Teacher-Student Relationship Helps Performance
I also love NPR. This story is about an experiment by the University of Vienna and University of Dresden on kindergarteners, in which they are shown a quick series of pictures (including pictures of their teachers) and are required to find patterns. The study showed that, by seeing teachers that they liked, the kindergarteners find patterns more immediately. This suggests that having a good teacher-student relationships helps with student performance, and that perhaps learning starts not in the textbooks but with the relationship.
3. ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) — Developing Positive Teacher-Student Relations
This site gives a chapter except of Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems by Mark and Christine Boynton. Even in just the first chapter, it gives really short and succinct tips on doing discipline, developing classroom pride, reducing frustration and stress, and creating positive interactions with students. It’s a nice little website that definitely makes me want to look at the whole book!