Students dating their teachers
Academic Outcomes Although many studies focus on the importance of early teacher-student relationships, some studies have found that teacher-student relationships are important in transition years; the years when students transition from elementary to middle school or middle to high school (Alexander et al., 1997; Cataldi & Kewall Ramani, 2009; Midgley, Feldlaufer, & Eccles, 1989).
Studies of math competence in students transitioning from elementary to middle school have found that students who move from having positive relationships with teachers at the end of elementary school to less positive relationships with teachers in middle school significantly decreased in math skills (Midgley et al., 1989).
Furthermore, teacher-student relationships have an impact on the academic self-esteem of students (Ryan et al., 1994).
High-poverty students often have low academic self-esteem and low confidence in their academic and vocational futures (Wentzel, 2003).
Students who perceive their relationship with their teacher as positive, warm and close are motivated to be more engaged in school and to improve their academic achievement (Hughes, Cavell, & Jackson, 1999).
Students’ motivation to learn is impacted positively by having a caring and supportive relationship with a teacher (Wentzel, 1998).
In one intervention study that aimed to increase positive relationships between low-income high school students and their teachers, results showed that students who participated in the intervention significantly improved their GPA over the course of five months (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).
Motivational theorists suggest that students’ perception of their relationship with their teacher is essential in motivating students to perform well (Bandura, 1997; Fan & Willams, 2010; Pajares & Graham, 1996; Ryan, Stiller, & Lynch, 1994; Wentzel, 2003; Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992).Through this secure relationship, students learn about socially appropriate behaviors as well as academic expectations and how to achieve these expectations (Hamre & Pianta, 2001).Students in low-income schools can especially benefit from positive relationships with teachers (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).For students who are considered at high risk for dropping out of high school, math achievement is significantly impacted by the perception of having a caring teacher (Midgley et al., 1989).Furthermore, students who went from low teacher closeness to high teacher closeness significantly increased in math skills over the transition year, from elementary to middle school (Midgley et al., 1989).