Teachers can foster student self-esteem by creating and maintaining positive, trusting relationships with students. According to Rogers (n.d.), teacher empathy, respect, and the frequency with which the teacher gave praise, accepted student ideas, and asked for thinking are methods for students to feel successful at school. Teachers promote the student’s self-concept (general sense of personal value) as well as their self-efficacy (personal beliefs about one’s ability to be a successful learner), when treating their students with respect and valuing their voice in the classroom. When we are positive in our teaching practice, we will receive positive student behaviors. Having strong interpersonal skills benefits all areas of teacher responsibility.
Carl Rogers emphasizing the importance of these interactions with students and the benefits that come along with them. In regards to under-achieving students, teacher empathy dramatically increases their ability to succeed in their work. “The level of person-to-person conditions the teacher offers to under-achieving students more frequently produced significant main effects on school attendance, gain in reading and math achievement, and change in I.Q. scores and self-concept . . .” (Rogers, n.d.). These youth in our classes at times can be difficult to reach and many approaches often do not work. Through Rogers’ research, positive relationships play a huge role with these students and can greatly impact their self-concept in regards to being a learner. As teachers, the more respect, acceptance, and student involvement we can provide, the more successful and effective our students will become.
Rogers, C. (n.d.). Teacher effects research on student self concept. Handout from EDU 6526, Seattle Pacific University, Feb 29, 2016.