One big problem that is obvious in some classrooms is that love is lacking between the teacher and students.
On some school observational occasions, a teacher may be seen or heard disparaging her students, speaking to them as if students are inept or unlovable.
While some students may be unruly or lazy who challenge teachers to persevere under stringent conditions, many reasons, nevertheless, may provide understanding for some students’ erratic behaviors.
According to research, statistics show that teachers indeed care about their students and do strive to motivate their students, yet research also reveals that teachers rarely extend themselves to every student to show that they care about each and every student in the classroom.
This lack of attention can leave some students to depend on themselves to be motivated about their own learning. However, some students rarely motivate themselves, for they do not realize how to keep themselves charged for learning.
In the report, “12 Powerful Statistics that Prove Why Teachers Matter,” https://www.weareteachers.com/teacher-impact-statistics/, 94 percent of Americans say people should do more to recognize good teachers.
Good teachers, yes, but what contributes to being a good teacher, and how many students are enrolled to good teachers? Reasons are galore that students are disinterested in school because many of them do not encounter good teachers.
Another exploratory study of student misbehavior in the classroom reveals student problems include daydreaming, playing games on computers, and disrespecting teachers by talking back inappropriately.
Fortunately, these problems can be lessened through effective classroom management. Yet, not the typical management style, but the atypical style—the style of academic romance.
For a visual approach, consider any type relationship—client/customer, parent/child, friend/friend, or student/teacher, the relationship strives when romance is applied to it.
Dictionary.com defines romance as “to treat with adore or chivalrousness; to make overtures or play up to.” To keep students attuned to behaving and completing their classwork, students must care enough about the teacher to desire to please the teacher. To aid this matter, students need overtures from teachers that will incite students into learning.
This realization is important, especially if the student does not care enough to perform diligently on his or her own while learning in the classroom.
To build a good relationship between teacher and students, a special type of relationship must be developed. Teacher and students must court each other through use of delicate student/teacher dialogue.
Words exchanged between teacher and students should be gentle and flattering. For example, the teacher or the student should acknowledge the other when first seeing the other for a particular day.
Because a teacher must teach students how to be polite by speaking to others when entering a room, the onus falls on the teacher to take the initiative to begin the relationship:
“How are you, this morning, Edward? Are you ready to learn today?” (Smile at student). This initiator is a good start for the student to respond in a cordial manner because the teacher speaks to the student in a personal, recognizable way.
The teacher, being the leader in building the relationship with students, will need to maintain the dialogue of trustworthiness. To keep classroom romance alive, the teacher should consider keeping communication open and forthcoming so that students will feel free to talk about ideas on their minds.
Without communication, a relationship is nonexistent. To keep communication open, both teacher and students should continue to “ask questions” of the other in order to probe deeply in getting to understand each other. As a probe for planting goals in students’ minds, a teacher could ask, “What do you plan to do with your life after you graduate from school, Edward?”
By asking no threating questions, the teacher can learn about his or her students and create a bond between them that may promote academic growth within the students.
When a valid communication takes place between teacher and students, their relationship grows in positive ways. Students learn to trust teachers to the point that students may share with teachers their successes and failures.
While the idea of romancing the classroom may be an odd concept upon first thought, a deeper look into the idea will prove to be sensible since romance in appropriate classroom forms is the ‘object of desire’ among human beings–teacher and students. Almost all humans desire a little love and tenderness.
Research is replete with proof that human are social species, and social connection is essential to humans’ health, self-esteem, well-being, and cognitive development.
Research also stipulates that a lack of connection in human interaction can lead to loneliness and has been linked to reclusiveness, demotivation, and even suicide. Furthermore, students and teachers are starved for a romance that will help them both achieve satisfaction in teaching and in student education.
In essence, proximity in the classroom is important. Standing next to, kneeling beside, talking directly to students—one-on-one as on a first date—“getting to know you,” students need the attention, and teachers need the respect from students by students illustrating that they appreciate the teacher’s interest in them and that a golden bond is set between them that they both—students and teacher—will work toward making their relationship special.
To help teachers implement romance in the classroom, the following tips may be helpful:
- Learn students’ names quickly, and use their names when addressing them.
- Smile every time a student is seen.
- Ask students about their day.
- Encourage students when they appear apathetic.
- Share inspiring events about your personal life.
- Give students simple gifts—cookies, Hersey kisses, unique pens and pencils, and certificates of excellence in academics and in good behavior.
- Call students’ parents to brag on students.
- Get close to students whenever possible, such as when students have questions or when circling the classroom.
- Attend students’ programs in which they participate. Make sure students notice your presence.
- Tell students, “I love you.”
Cynthia Mathews, Ed.D.
Teacher / Instructional Leader