Here's an excerpt from my book, Eight Great Ideas that describes a few thoughts about some research regarding student achievement and the factors that impact it. The text is taken from the first chapter on Core Principles.
Core Principle #1: You have safe relationships with your students.
For years, educators have talked about the "teachable moment." Lately, though, I've come to believe that the "relationship moment" can be of greater significance. In fact, the hard numbers that were generated in a study by Peart & Campbell (1999) make the point.
What Affects Student Achievement ?
Although we've known for years that students do better academically for teachers they like, seeing the relationship factor receive such a big slice of the pie is food for thought. Not that I'm advocating the need to be best friends with your students, mind you. It's merely that your students need to know you see them as more than just a bunch of warm bodies filling the seats in your classroom.
For instance, when you first see a student, what is your initial response?
Is it: Did you do the homework last night?
Or is it: Good to see you. How are you doin' today?
When it comes to taking care of a job in class...
Is it: I said I'll take care of that. Just leave it alone and go back to your seat.
Or is it: Would you mind taking care of this for us?
Without wanting to belabor the obvious, all I'm suggesting is that you should treat your students the way you would want a teacher to treat your own children.
Just a thought.