Building a strong Leadership Team is a key factor in a school’s improvement effort. In addition, there are many ways each classroom teacher can have a positive impact on learning. Being knowledgeable about content and curriculum; developing and knowing how and when to use effective teaching techniques are among the obvious starting points. Yet, another area that is sometimes taken for granted or not given significant attention is developing a personal relationship with each student.
To illustrate this point, John Hattie, in Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement, reports, “When students, parents, principals, and teachers were asked what influences students’ achievement, all but the teachers emphasized the relationship between the teachers and students” (p.118). Does this result surprise you? Meta-analyses confirm that the teacher’s relationships with students is among the highest factors impacting student achievement, ranking 11th of 138 factors cited by Hattie.