What to expect when dating a law student

There is substantial research on the importance of teacher-student relationships in the early elementary years (Pianta, 1992; Hamre & Pianta 2001).However, little is known about the effects of teacher-student relationships on high school students.There are several factors that can protect against the negative outcomes often associated with low-income schooling, one of which is a positive and supportive relationship with an adult, most often a teacher (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).Low-income students who have strong teacher-student relationships have higher academic achievement and have more positive social-emotional adjustment than their peers who do not have a positive relationship with a teacher (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).

Risk outcomes associated with poverty include high rates of high school dropout, lower rates of college applications, low self-efficacy, and low self-confidence (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).When teachers form positive bonds with students, classrooms become supportive spaces in which students can engage in academically and socially productive ways (Hamre & Pianta, 2001).Positive teacher-student relationships are classified as having the presence of closeness, warmth, and positivity (Hamre & Pianta, 2001).Teachers play an important role in the trajectory of students throughout the formal schooling experience (Baker, Grant, & Morlock, 2008).Although most research regarding teacher-student relationships investigate the elementary years of schooling, teachers have the unique opportunity to support students’ academic and social development at all levels of schooling (Baker et al., 2008; Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998; Mc Cormick, Cappella, O’Connor, & Mc Clowry, in press).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).Studies show that early teacher-student relationships affect early academic and social outcomes as well as future academic outcomes (Pianta 1992; Hamre & Pianta 2001), but few researchers have looked at the effects of teacher-student relationships in later years of schooling.Researchers who have investigated teacher-student relationships for older students have found that positive teacher-student relationships are associated with positive academic and social outcomes for high school students (Alexander, Entwisle, & Horset, 1997; Cataldi & Kewall Ramani, 2009).Aligned with attachment theory (Ainsworth, 1982; Bowlby, 1969), positive teacher-student relationships enable students to feel safe and secure in their learning environments and provide scaffolding for important social and academic skills (Baker et al., 2008; O’Connor, Dearing, & Collins, 2011; Silver, Measelle, Armstron, & Essex, 2005).Teachers who support students in the learning environment can positively impact their social and academic outcomes, which is important for the long-term trajectory of school and eventually employment (Baker et al., 2008; O’Connor et al., 2011; Silver et al., 2005).

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