Abbey Jones • Event Coordinator
During the first day of school, most teachers will introduce themselves to each of their classes. They show everyone pictures of their dogs, talk about their husbands or wives, share about their favorite things to do when they aren’t working. However, after that initial “getting to know you” part of the first day of class, they don’t share much about themselves until somebody makes an effort to get to know them better.
As a student body, Hayes doesn’t try enough to get to know its teachers well enough, and it’s vitally important to do so. Teaching is a very open, extroverted profession, and most of those who work at Hayes are some of the most outgoing teachers there are today. The staff throughout Delaware is an extremely caring, personable, and all around high-performing group of adults.
It is entirely up to the student, however, to approach a desired teacher and establish trust, find mutual interests, and show concern of getting to know one another. This may be the worst part to any high schooler, but is well worth the anxiety to work towards getting to know someone who will be in the same room for the next nine months.
Students should feel more comfortable asking teachers about their lives and what they are like out of the chair behind the desk. Even those teachers who aren’t comfortable with sharing personal details generally enjoy telling students about their favorite books or how they view the world around them.
It’s almost always more fun when a deeper student-teacher relationship is established. Walking into a classroom where there’s a mutual trust and admiration between the two is much more comfortable than trying to learn from someone that remains a stranger through the whole year.
While it is important to have respect for any authoritative figure, it’s also helpful to break down the almost awkward social barrier that generally comes with student/teacher relationships. It’s different for elementary and even middle school students; most high school to teacher age gaps aren’t terribly large, many teachers being in the same generation as students.
Student/teacher relationships are also extremely beneficial when applying for colleges, when teacher recommendations are a required part of most applications. It’s easier for a student to ask a teacher they know for a recommendation, and its easier for a teacher to give a solid, professional, yet personal and loving reflection if they know the student well.
Having at least one safe place in the building (a classroom where a student can work and relax without fear of intimidation or peer pressure) is also extremely important. Teachers are more than willing to open their rooms during their free periods, and some allow students to work in their rooms even while a different class is going on.
It’s very important to have mutual trust and admiration in the classroom, and the bonds formed between staff and students can be vital to growing up. It’s extremely fulfilling for a student to walk into a class and know that he or she is welcome, that they can engage in a conversation with that teacher, or tell them if they need help with school or with life in general.
Having a personal connection with at least one teacher help make the classroom less stressful, more fun, and benefit both parties, helping both have a better year. Meaningful relationships also make high school just slightly more bearable during the day as well.