It is important to remember that every child`s relationship with his or her teacher can influence its academic success. The important dynamics to consider are whether or not there is a real communicative difficulty between the children and their teachers, and how do you begin to intervene to resolve those difficulties. As children learn and grow, expectations also grow. However, some children actually find themselves in vulnerable and sometimes even unfair positions since sometimes teachers actually do have personality issues with their students.
Leaving aside the relationship at the school level, one of the most satisfying relationships may be found in the college level where teachers develop with their students. A good student-teacher relationship is a sharing relationship of something unique that no one else may experience in quite the same way. The student experiences an acceptance of ideas and contributions that may be unequalled in previous life experience. It has been shown that "student relations with teacher is regarded by most students as the most important aspect of the quality of their graduate experience."
A unique aspect of such a relationship is that the student is, at the same time, both student and colleague. In a healthy student-teacher relationship, the student is encouraged and expected to be candid in responding to the teacher`s ideas, methods, or words. Part of a teacher`s role is to acquaint the student, not only with the specialized field that is shared, but also with the other leaders in the field and with the ways of professional and academic life.
That apprenticeship process may include travel, social activities, and glimpses into each other`s personal lives. And yet, despite this closeness and sharing, the teacher does remain a teacher and the student a student. The teacher maintains certain evaluative responsibilities and the student continues to be dependent on the mentor`s guidance and approval.
As a teacher, the mentor`s role is to enhance the student`s skills and intellectual development.
As a sponsor, he uses his influence to facilitate the student`s entry and advancement into the profession.
In his role as a guide, he welcomes the initiate into a new occupational and social world and acquaints him with its values, customs, resources and cast of characters.
As an exemplar, he serves as one whom the student can emulate. He may sometimes serve as a counselor in times of stress.
And finally, he is hopefully a believer in the student`s dream for professional development.
In an academic environment, the mentor must also serve as an evaluator of the student`s performance. This role may be reflected in relatively immediate functions, such as grading, or in more temporally indefinite functions such as the writing of letters of recommendation for advanced training, licensure, or career opportunities.
Teachers like Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, Pandit Jasraj and others resurrected the arts from the morass of moral turpitude and created a pool of young talent. We need teachers like them who understand the sanctity of the guru-shishya relationship and are able to inculcate the love of knowledge in their students.
The student-teacher relationship traditionally has held special problems for women. Female teachers have been particularly scarce. And when a man becomes interested in guiding and advising a younger woman, there is usually an erotic interest that goes along with it. What follows from that are many combinations we can easily recognize: producer and star, professor and graduate student, doctor and nurse, director and actress, and so on. There is also a necessary limit to the personal, social, or even sexual interaction that may be experienced between student and teacher without compromising one`s professional responsibilities.