Growing up, I wish I had a teacher who could offer me emotional support, someone who I could genuinely look up to and someone who could pose as an inspiration for my down days. If I had, I probably would have turned out a little  bit better. This is because we spend most of our childhood relating with our teachers who seem to know us more than we do ourselves.


Why do we think some kids have favorite teachers? Is it because of the way they teach? Or is it because they share a special bond; simply because these teachers give them careful attention when they need it. It doesn’t always have to be your teaching style, what you teach or even how ‘fun’ you make the class. Try becoming a positive emotional bank to the children you come across, provide solutions and become a true mentor.  

A little of my life
Mathematics was my least favorite subject right from JSS1 up until my first term in Foundation year. And then, it became even worse simply because our math teacher – Mr Jay – couldn’t be bothered with the way he related to us. Once, when he was teaching simultaneous equations, he said “there are multiple methods of solving these equations” then he went on the board to solve one equation using a certain method. He then said “I have solved mine this way, if you like, solve yours whichever way – that is your business”, then he walked away a staggering twenty minutes before the class was over, leaving no room for questions and without teaching the other methods. Imagine!

Term two came and Mr. Jay was dismissed because of his poor teaching style and there came the perfect Mr. Akpan who effortlessly taught us with so much passion, he would not move on to the next topic unless he was sure everyone was on the same page, not only did he make math fun, he was always there, and he could see through everyone. The point here is, if  you don’t give your students an opportunity to thrive, they never will – and if you don’t give them a reason to trust you, they never will.

Avoid being Mr. Jay – this is how:
– Even though it may seem almost impossible to tend to every single child that comes your way, try giving it all you can to make every child count, focus on the weakest links and provide them with necessary support. Guard their self esteem!
– Teach them to accept themselves the way they are and to identify with their individual uniqueness.
– If they fall back in class, don’t embarrass them by calling them out, instead, try to pin point possible problems and make them see reason why they shouldn’t give up.
– If they drift away discipline wise, don’t be quick to judge – rather, get into their heads and guide them back on track.

-take time to participate in their social as well as personal development.

Why personal mentor-ship is important:
– Trust, trust and trust! When you gain trust from a child, you automatically become their friend and the whole aim here is to make them feel comfortable to engage in personal topics with you.
– Confidence! When a child gains support from others, it almost instantly helps them build their self-confidence knowing that they aren’t alone in whatever it is they do.
– It encourages for more effective learning and greater academic performance.

What we can do to improve teacher-student relationship:
– Try adopting a more fun teaching style I. E interactive sessions – let’s see how it goes.
– From time to time, try asking your students one-on-one how they are doing.
– Look at it this way, if they are young children, treat them as you would your kids and if they are teenagers, relate to them as you would your siblings.

What is student-teacher relationship like in your school? Is it beyond academics or strictly classroom driven?

If you’d like more information on this topic or simply to have a chat about how to encourage your teachers to be more open to students, please fill in the form below.

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