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Evidence identifies the importance of fostering a classroom environment characterised by positive relationships between the teacher and students, and among students. Students and teachers alike are unhappy when there is friction and constant disruptions as it undermines ability to learn, sense of enjoyment and well-being, attitudes towards one another, to subjects, or to learning overall.

What the research says

  • Teachers need to form caring and trusting relationships with their students and get to know them as individuals if they want them to be engaged learners.
  • Students often have quite different feelings about their various teachers, which can have an effect on how engaged they feel in their classes. They like teachers to have a good sense of humour, be patient, treat them consistently and fairly, and listen to what they have to say.
  • Students also enjoy classes more when their teachers provide clear instructions and explanations and give regular, constructive feedback to help them with their learning.
'Productive partnerships' at Chisnallwood Intermediate.

More about the importance of developing good relationships is included in chapter 7 of Easing the transition from primary to secondary schooling – Helpful information for schools to consider:

PDF icon. Chapter 7 - Easing the transition from primary to secondary schooling (PDF, 70 KB)

Read more about what students particularly value in teachers in The education of years 7 to 10 students:

PDF icon. Education of Years 7 to 10 Students (summary report) (PDF, 3 MB)

Published on: 18 Jan 2012