2.2. Teachers and their relationships with pupils and parents
A supportive long-term relationship between the teacher and learner is crucial for improving learner engagement and achievement. Positive relationships with learners also increase teachers’ job-satisfaction. Trust-based, respectful and cooperative relationships between teachers and learners, their parents and the wider community also influence positive learning outcomes.
Essential elements for such relationships include:
- Setting high expectations for the achievement of all students.
- Building and maintaining a caring, inclusive classroom environment and a culture of trust.
- Understanding educational disadvantage: accepting that some learners may come from family and social backgrounds which may not be advantageous to learning and that they may need additional support.
- Teacher attitudes and communication skills: teachers need to be aware that their attitudes, expectations and the words they use may have a significant impact and influence on learners. Communication skills are also needed to work effectively with parents, other school staff and professionals outside of school. Any communication with parents should be clear (for example, avoiding less well-known terminology), and be welcoming for those who are not familiar with the system.
- Recognising the important role of parents and other adults and peers with whom they learners relate most closely: teachers need to acknowledge the role which key individuals in the learner’s life play in the learning process and take advantage of the benefits of their involvement.
- Awareness of diversity in classrooms: schools should work to actively embrace differences of both staff and learners. Teachers should develop their knowledge, competences and skills related to understanding diversity in all its forms: intercultural education, multilingualism and teaching second language learners should be embedded within initial teacher education and reinforced through continuous professional development (in-service training, teaching mobility programmes, workshops, conferences.
- A school culture that takes learners’ voices seriously and considers their views in school development processes.
Find out more:
URBACT project 'PREVENT - Involving parents in the prevention of early school leaving'
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