By Ikrame Chibani
By Ikrame Chibani
Rabat – The student-teacher relationship has been the subject matter of various debates. Some argue that teachers and students alike should maintain a relationship that is professional in nature. Others strongly believe that in order to achieve an effective learning experience, a close relationship should be established between teachers and students. Indeed, raising teachers’ and students’ awareness regarding the importance of an effective relationship leads to great achievements.
Opponents of a close teacher-student relationship ignore the humanistic side of learning and argue for the importance of both teachers’ and students’ skills in successful learning. They claim, for instance, that in a class composed of more than forty students, the teacher is incapable of maintaining close relationships with all of his or her students. For these people, a close student-teacher relationship may often be misunderstood; whilst a pat on the back can simply mean an act of encouragement, it could seriously disrupt one’s career, namely, if this act is interpreted as a type of harassment by a staff member or by students themselves. Therefore, proponents of relatively hands-off education prefer that teachers perform their mission in a very strict manner, ignoring the emotional aspect that plays a crucial role in students’ achievements.
Considering the opposite claims, supporters of a warmer teacher-student relationship build their arguments on solid ground. Humans are emotional beings and so students tend to perform better when feeling comfortable. A teacher, therefore, should build connections with his or her students to ensure appropriate conditions for an effective learning experience. In order to do so, the psychological state of students must be a primary concern of the teacher.
One high school teacher claims that a strong relationship between teacher and student will calm a student’s insecurities. She adds that a student who is at ease with the teacher will confidently ask questions if he or she has some difficulties in understanding the lesson. Further, a student may gain interest in a given subject only through a close relationship with the instructor. Lastly, the teacher continues, a teacher who is authoritative in class will be faced with more rebellion, which can eventually lead to serious issues.
A final decision concerning this issue still has not been reached. Yet, it is obvious that education not only means teaching courses and lessons, but also implies taking care of the emotional and the psychological aspects of the student. Therefore, one must strike a balance between conveying knowledge and caring for emotional states, which can be attained only through a positive relationship between teachers and students.
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