STEM ambassador David Rogers discussed many aspects of STEM’s work during the session he gave. A topic which particularly caught my attention was during the ‘Do’s and Don’ts statement game’ when student-teacher relationships were discussed.
I found the conflicting opinions on the matter interesting, and as this is something I have an impartial opinion on, I decided to read into whether student-teacher relationships are important.
David mentioned that the number of children pursuing STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) is decreasing, so I questioned ‘is this related to lack of student-teacher relationships’?
Whilst I was at school, I had friendly relationships with my teachers, and I have continued to pursue a science education. My younger brother on the other hand, detested his teachers and had anything-but a positive relationship with them; not surprisingly, he left education at the age of 16.
I conducted some research and came across educator Rita F. Pierson, who gave an inspirational talk during TED Talks Education, in which she highlighted personal experiences from her 40 year teaching career, delivering the message that “every child deserves a champion.”
Her enthusiasm towards developing positive relationships with students led me to believe that a student-teacher bond is in fact key to educating students successfully, and her experience working closely with her pupils sounded inspiring.
Rita highlights the importance of teachers, who spend 6-8 hours a day with their pupils, as role models for children. Perhaps if children did perceive their teachers as role models, they would aspire to be more like them?