Students learn more than academics when they enter a classroom. They learn lifelong skills such as how to function in a group and work productively with others. The role of the teacher is to facilitate this process and act as a role model that students learn from. Teaching with integrity is key when working with students for them to learn by example. One of the Six Priorities of Affective Education is “Establishing a climate of trust.” Session 7- Learner Centered In order to do this, the teacher must act honestly and thoughtfully with students so they feel emotionally safe and comfortable. Only then will they truly open up, voice their full opinions, and feel accepted as a learner in the classroom. Students pick up how teachers act, even when they see them outside of the classroom, so living an honest, moral life is important for students to learn.
Children and youth are socially intelligent and understand when they are being truly listened to and heard. A teacher cannot fake these interactions and their relationships with students highly depend on their honesty and kindness. “Students know when their teachers are committed to their psychomotor, cognitive, and affective learning, and they can tell when their teachers genuinely care about them and are trustworthy, honest, and respectful.” (Lumpkin, 2008, p. 47) These are morals and virtues all teachers want to instill in their classrooms, creating life-long learners that contribute to a prosperous society. The teacher-student relationship is so important in shaping attitudes towards education and observing teacher values is how students make sense of the learning world.
Lumpkin, A., (2008). Teachers as Role Models, Teaching Character and Moral Virtues. JOPERD 79: 2, 45-49.