Being a teacher is a tough task and comes with many challenges. The overwhelming responsibilities that start from text-book lessons and expand to devoting multiple hours of a day scrutinizing the answer scripts of students and other administrative works that never seem to finish can exhaust teachers in more than just physical ways. The work-load in teaching can make teachers feel irritable and distressed which can have a significant impact on the teacher-student relationship.
When I was a student, I often experienced that my performance in the class on any given day was somehow related to my teachers’ behaviour and attitude in the class. I used to feel that whenever my teachers spoke to me in a positive and encouraging tone, I experienced a positive emotion that was responsible for my increased participation in the class. Whereas, on the days when teachers used to be low energy or not so positive, my participation and engagement in the class used to decrease significantly.
As a student, I felt that the positive and encouraging attitude of the teachers was the factor that reduced the distance between the students and teachers. Whereas the negative and closed attitude of teachers created a distance between the teacher and student, it also distracted students from their studies. Low-energy teachers found it hard to keep their students interested in the lessons, on the other hand, the enthusiastic teachers could engage their class nonchalantly.
The personal reminiscences of childhood experiences motivated me to look deeper into how the attitude and mood of teachers in the class can affect student performance. While doing the research, I wondered if something of this sort is even possible or it’s just my whim.
I looked into the research conducted by David Blazer of the University of Maryland that analyzed teachers’ influence on student outcomes. The investigation gathered information from fourth and fifth-grade educators in four schools in three states on the East Coast crosswise over three school years (2010–11 to 2012–13). The research considered around a subset of forty-one educators who were a part of an arbitrary task in year three and students (and their instructors) who were surveyed for their attitudes and behaviour during three years.
The key result of the research was that the teachers considerably influenced students attitudes and behaviour. The biggest impact was on students’ happiness in class, for which a 1.00 standard deviation (SD) increment in teacher prompted a generally 0.30 SD increment in that result.
The conclusion that can be drawn is that the teachers’ emotional state is directly related to students’ emotional state and performance. To positively impact the students’ mood, teachers should ignore using phrases that reflect anger and frustration, they should also not use phrases that have negative connotations. Teachers should create a positive environment in their class by inculcating a sense of responsibility among their students.