How Students Perceive Their Relationships with Teachers

blog-logoEducation research consistently shows that positive teacher-student relationships are an important dimension of effective teaching and contribute to students’ success in school and life. Students who have strong relationships with their teachers tend to get better grades, work harder in school, and are less likely to drop out.

A recent analysis written by Panorama Education analyzed survey responses from 14 districts, 407 schools, 11,203 teachers, and 301,418 students from 10 states. Students in grades 3 through 12 answered questions on how they view the student-teacher relationship, and Panorama looked at trends in responses across grade levels.

The survey questions about teacher-student relationships included:

  • How respectful is this teacher towards you?
  • If you walked into class upset, how concerned would your teacher be?
  • If you came back to visit class three years from now, how excited would this teacher be to see you?
  • When your teacher asks how you are doing, how often do you feel that your teacher is really interested in your answer?
  • How excited would you be to have this teacher again?

The results found that the teachers who seem especially well-equipped to develop and sustain strong relationships with students during the middle school years and the transition to high school are well-distributed. These teachers work at different schools and with many different communities of students. This suggests that teachers working with different student populations are all capable of building strong relationships with students. It appears that the impact of forming strong teacher-student relationships are not restricted to particular student populations: All kinds of teachers can be successful at building relationships with all kinds of students.

For more information, see