Why are teacher relationships important?

by Jocelyn Suarez, Staff Writer

Lets face it, students don’t see their teachers as their friends. Its not that they are the enemy per say, but when somebody has the judgement of your future in their hands, its daunting. So when parents or counselors tell students to build a better relationship with their teachers, its a roadblock. The mentality is this: why should I build a relationship with somebody forcing me to learn? Its a tough mentality to break down. As college applications rear their ugly heads, and letters of recommendation spring like flowers mouse traps, students sometimes realize that they do actually like some of their teachers, and some also understand that even though they are trusting their teacher to speak of them to their dream school or just a potential place of getting away from parents, some students don’t know the first thing about their teachers. Like, where they went to school or how they even became a teacher and why they chose to torture themselves with crazy amounts of work for little pay and putting up with rowdy kids. This gap, or “disconnect” is seen many times throughout the year, when teachers are working at their computers and nobody talks to them till the end of the period, or when its 6th period and you’re still packing your things and you awkwardly pack in silence not speaking to the teacher. Granted, not everybody wants to know these things about their teacher, some just don’t want to know the biographies of their English teacher that won’t stop talking about characterization and how it pertains to the theme. Yet, there is a hidden incentive in the process of asking these semi out of place, but important, questions.

   The meat of those big questions, like “why did you become a teacher” usually tells about how the path you take in life might be different from what you planned, or might be exactly what you always wanted. Those answers sometimes have life lessons that teachers sometimes forget to teach in the classroom. The value that those questions hold is limitless. Teachers are born, not made, and teachers actually want you to understand the world, some just forget how to teach that. Questions that ask about the teachers themselves, usually have the answers to life questions inside them. Like the beloved Mr. Miyagi, most teachers encompass that spirit to teach not just the material, but virtues and morals as well. No matter how saccharine it sounds, developing a better relationship with your teacher doesn’t just help with college applications, it helps with learning about life itself. Not to mention the crazy stories you get out of it.

Image courtesy: alivecampus.com

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