actively engaged in assessing the students under supervision and aiming to develop teaching preparation for the new academic year.
However, this year may not be the same as in previous years because of the pandemic of the COVID-19 virus. Due to the pandemic crisis in this school break, children may not play as usual. Parents, families, and carers cannot afford to take children on a vacation and cannot go to learn outside. Some students’ parents may be experiencing difficulty in their careers. There may be grandparents who are sick and are not able to be close to children as before. In addition, this school break is longer than every time. With such an environment, children may feel fear and concerned about their parents, family, not meeting friends, and the type of teaching and learning that will be encountered during the new semester. At times like this, it would be a good idea for teachers to talk about the child well-being, which may create a small challenge to continue learning. It is encouragement and strengthening the relationship to wait for the time to meet again at schools.
The relationship between teachers and students is a factor that promotes and supports education.
According to a review of more than 46 researches, the strong teacher student relationship is related to the development of all educational indicators both in the short and long term. Whether it’s a commitment to academic learning, number of class attendance, learning achievement, reducing aggressive and unwanted behavior including reducing the rate of out-of-school from the education system. This result occurs for all groups of students, regardless of the social status of the family and the type of school. In addition, it is found that good relationships between teachers and students are significant to higher levels of happiness and fun and help reduce teachers’ worries when teaching.
In this time of separation, what will teachers communicate with students in order to build relationships between teachers – students, build relationships between students and learning? Therefore, even without meeting the teacher, it can continue to learn.
What does the teacher communicate to students? The WeAreTeacher has invited teachers in the United States to share the words and messages that communicate with students in the situation of COVID-19, which is collected in the Facebook teacher community. The messages can be grouped into 8 groups as follows:
- The teacher misses you. All teachers loved their students as if they were their own children. At the time when they did not meet in this situation. The teachers miss the students. Regardless of the level of teacher teaching or how long it has been taught, they all say that at this time “We miss students”
- Please stay safe. The objective of staying at home is to reduce the risk of getting a virus infection, helping to keep students safe and healthy. The teachers therefore communicate with the children, emphasizing the self-care, cleanliness, staying at home to be safe by providing mental security that it may take a little time but everything will return to normal.
- Staying at home is a good child of your family. Staying at home with family members can be both good and bad. Because in the past that there was no pandemic issue, the family members may alternate and engage in outdoor activities and are not at home all the same time. But in this situation, everyone must be in the same area. If any families have siblings, they may have to share the area, toys that there may be conflicts or quarrel. However, what the teachers emphasized and remembered was understanding, patience, sacrifice and forgiveness, as well as being helpful and responsible for household chores, whether sweeping the house or washing dishes. During the time you were at home, be sure to be close and understand family members and learn from everyone in the house.
The teachers want you to try many things and find out what you like. The more you stay at home for many days, the more fun you may become bored. What the teachers communicate with the students at this time are to try and handle things that have not been done before in order to encourage children to find themselves through experiments to do different things that they are interested and like it when they can’t go anywhere.
Do students try to have fun with creative thinking, creative art, crafting or cooking?
Using imagination and creativity is one way to help reduce the stress and anxiety of children because they face positive experiences and positive emotions from the crafting, creative art, easy cooking or baking. It doesn’t have to be a great work of art and may be a pencil drawing or using glue, scissors, and paper to create the crafting or fun science learning through cooking and baking with family members. These things will help to relax, build a good relationship and challenge new learning as an experience for children.
Exercise, do housework, and play When having to stay at home for a long time, if the time in each day is spent watching television, computer screen or mobile phones all the time, it probably is not good for the eyes to learning or physical and mental health. A number of teachers have warned children to do exercise and move the body or may be running around in the house or doing exercises that are shared among family members.
Volunteering makes the change that we can do it. Sharing, making sacrifices, and doing good things for others can help create happiness, satisfaction, and peace of mind during these situations. There may be some activities that are appropriate to the age, such as drawing a warning, writing encouraging letters, making a cloth mask or even taking good care of yourself and the family. All of these are social responsibilities and is done for the public benefit.
The teachers have not gone anywhere but are still waiting for the day that we can meet again. The last thing every teacher has left is that the school is always waiting for the return of the children. The teachers are waiting for the day to meet and learn together with children. Now when we do not meet in this period, the teachers want the children to learn, practice, develop and continue to find the new experience. Then the teacher will wait and hear what everyone has done and how it has grown from this pandemic situation.
Teacher-student communication, in addition to creating relationships between teachers-students, creating a bond between students and learning, and reducing fears and anxiety from unusual situations, may be a positive reinforcement for certain behaviors of students. For example, good students should help to do household chores, take care and help their family members and others, and are a volunteer to the public benefit.
When students receive compliments or the teachers are interested in the things that the children do, it will encourage the children and tend to show more their behaviors increasingly as well as to enhance good relationships between teachers and students and create new learning and a good experience for children.
If you are a teacher at this time, what would you like to say to your students?
Kimberley Moran (2020). Here’s What I Want My Students to Know When We’re Not Together. Retrieved 12 April 2020, from https://www.weareteachers.com/messages-to-students-during-covid-19/
Sarah D. Sparks. Education Week (2019). Why Teacher-Student Relationships Matter New findings shed light on best approaches. Retrieved 12 April 2020, from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/03/13/why-teacher-student-relationships-matter.html