Healthy Student- Teacher Relationships Drive Classroom Success

There are many factors that go into receiving a good education; one of the most important and overlooked factors is the importance of a healthy student-teacher relationship. Without a mutual respect for one another, students and teachers are unable properly communicate hindering students ability to receive the best education possible. In a kindness campaign by Oak Parks high schools, teacher recognize the one of kind students who make the classroom a good place to be. Here I have linked this amazing video, and a analysis that verifies the truth that classroom success can be driven by a healthy student-teacher relationship.

Teachers Tell Students How Special They Are (Video)

Healthy Student-Teacher Relationships Drive Classroom Success   

In a society that thrives off of acknowledging others failures and shortcomings, it is hard to recognize the things one is doing well. This is particularly true when discussing aspects of the public education system. Students may spend the entire school year hearing only of the things they are doing poorly, forming a negative association to teachers. Because of this, the classroom has become a uninviting environment to many students. In the ABC, Good Morning America ,and Fox news broadcasted  video “Teachers Tell Students How Special They Are, Oak Parks High School teachers recognize the persistent effort and good spirits that particular students bring to the classroom. The compiled video clips use teachers stressed importance of dialogue, honest conversational tone, and camera angle to express that although students efforts are often unrecognized, teachers motives and purpose are even more so, making it clear that good student- teacher relationships are vital to accepting educational opportunities and moving forward. 

In the video, the teachers of Oak Parks High School took students deserving of recognition aside and thanked them privately for the qualities they possess that help them succeed in school. These open and honest conversations were filmed in nearly empty hallways by the teacher themselves. Throughout the video, students and teachers cry, show bright smiles, and laugh with one another. The videos feel good tone brought attention to it, and it has been aired on multiple news stations since it was filmed. While it may be that the emotion in the video appeals first to viewers, it remains relevant because of the examples of the impact of healthy studentteacher relationships displayed. 

When the students and teachers use meaningful, emotional, and honest conversational diction it is easy to accredit these students successes in the classroom to having a good relationship with their educators. Being able to talk about their situation, why an assignment was late, and what they are struggling with, is helpful to receiving a superb education and is a quality valued by the teachers of Oak Parks high school.  One female teacher said that the reason she choose to thank her student was , ” because you always talk to me and smile.” The use of this honest and meaningful dialogue shows how important it is for students and teachers to be able to have open conversations and hold mutual respect for one another. By stressing the importance of an equal contribution to dialogue within the video the creator shows the absence of the common power dynamic students often struggle with in the classroom. These conversations allow for more honesty and willingness to listen than the traditional classroom setting where the teacher spends 90 minutes at a time talking at the student instead of with them. By talking to the student personally the teacher has opened up a line of communication and understanding that otherwise would not exist and offers the opportunity for the student to choose to have mutual respect, instead of the ‘respectful’ attitude that many students display out of social habitus The successful students were chosen because they become a visual reminder of the important effects of purposeful communication with teachers outside the classroom.  In recognizing their one of a kind students, the teachers also recognize a subliminal truth of the education system; it is impossible to effect every student in the way that one might want to when there are communication roadblocks. The video shows that when there is poor communication, it is hard for many students to accept the quality education that is being presented to them. There will be students who never apply their knowledge or leap at new opportunities because they do not have a comfortable relationship with their teacher. 

Similarly to life, in the video the camera angle puts the teacher aside and the spotlight on a single student showing the more individualized and personal connection required for a relationship with an educator . One does not see the faces of the teachers and at most an arm is seen from one teacher reaching to hug a student while speaking words of kindness. The director creates a private moment between the student and teacher were the conversation is relaxed and more intimate than the exchanges that typically take place in the classroom allowing for laughter, tears, and sincere words. Throughout the video, the conversations have a sincere tone and are not forced. This move shows that the students most deserving of praise are the ones that the teachers of Oak Parks High School have a personal relationship with. The students did not display awkward body language or forced smiles and the teachers did not pause or stumble over words searching for something to say. They are comfortable around one another and because the video portrays this it becomes clear that when students and teachers are comfortable around one another a pathway opens for a deeper understanding, leading to discovering how to teach in a way that is better suited to a students needs.  

When a viewer first watches the students be recognized, all focus points to them, but after watching this video several times it becomes clear that the recognition is not of the student or teacher alone; the recognition belongs to the mutual respect and understanding they have for one another placing importance on it. The video positions the teachers in the background, not visible to the eye of the viewer because they are not the ones who desire a deserved recognition. It can be concluded that the teachers are not demanding for or asking for recognition. While it seems like this stylistic choice of placing the teacher behind the camera is downplaying their work, this is not true. The entire video highlights how well the work of the teacher is being done. In videos such as this, the teachers are able to showcase what the result (their purpose ) actually looks like. One teacher towards the end of the video admits to the student,” You are my success story!”. Helping mold teens into valuable members of society is no easy task, so by recognizing what it is the student is doing so well in class, the teacher is also recognizing that their purpose has been fulfilled and that they too had done something impressive. They get to experience joy knowing what difference was made in a young persons life without commanding attention or thankfulness from anyone. This is what makes student teacher relationships  so important. The dialogue between student and teacher in the classroom is mutual, meaning that they contributed equally to the education of the students.  

The video challenge itself was created to bring about a spread of positivity and because of this the video has  used the conversational tone to place importance on the positive aspects of allowing honest moments between student and teacher. In most public school systems it is the general knowledge that these interactions are not welcomed or valued despite the effects they have on the growth of a student. The schools active decision to allow these dialogues to exist helps make further the point that they make a positive impact on the development of a child’s education and provide proof of the important effect. It is not only important to recognize the students that are doing well , but it also points out that if these interactions had not been centered around a video challenge they would not take place.   There is no time in the school day to sit down and talk with each individual student, but given the opportunity these interactions are meaningful. It remains a surprise to the students that they are being told how good of a job is being done because it prevents a negative association to teachers from being formed. These conversations help the students see the teacher as more then an instructor and help the teacher see the students as more then empty vessels they must pour knowledge into. It allows them to see one another as humans with lives as intricate and important as one another’s– something that is extremely important and allows for a more personalized schooling experience. 

Good educators, such as the ones displayed in the video, personalize students’ education by investing in their students and making an effort to form the relationship with them that helps create a mutual respect desired in classroom learning environments and praised in the video. Educators spend countless hours grading papers and quizzes only to be discouraged by the results. It cannot be easy to answer the phone call of a concerned or angry parent that fails to understand that there are no biases; Their kid is simply not learning the material. It can not be easy to watch students fall into the pitfalls of society, becoming victim to the infamous ‘ school to prison pipeline’. It only makes sense that there will be days that a teacher, even the good ones, walk into the school building uninspired and unsatisfied because a difference is not being made. These realities of the educational system, as suggested by the video, can be curbed by the increase of healthy student-teacher relationships. These video recognizes the importance of student teacher interaction, using successful kids actions and attitudes as proof. This heartwarming video points to one of the hidden truths of the American education system. In recognizing a students success the teachers of Oak Parks high school have also recognized their own successes and the difference that having a good student-teacher relationship makes on the amount of learning achieved for both them personally and their peers. 



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