COVID-19 Highlights Importance of Student-Teacher Connections

Being able to establish connections with your teachers is one of the most valuable parts of going into school. Although COVID-19 has limited the ability to create relationships with teachers, PV staff and students are adjusting in motivating matters with their efforts to stay connected. 

“Creating relationships with my students is really important. It’s something that makes coming to your job more enjoyable and can help with behavioral and management issues in the classroom. The closer connections you make with students allows classroom disruption fewer and far between,” Mr. Hinkle, PVHS European and Global Studies teacher, said. 

It is known that teachers who create relationships with their students make it easier on the students and the overall classroom environment.

“Everything is so much more positive once you build a relationship with your teacher such as your communication, your respect, and just the environment whether you’re in their room physically or in the Zoom call,” Pearl Budner, a junior, said.

As COVID-19 continues to affect the lives of many, PV staff and students explain how this pandemic has affected their ability to connect with each other.

“Some students have gotten into their shell a little more because of social distancing which has led to self isolation, which makes it harder for them to open up. I try to let them know that they can always talk to me and that I am always an open door no matter if I am teaching on Zoom or in the classroom,” Mr. Hinkle said.

The challenges of creating relationships during COVID-19 has been a hard hurdle to overcome, but students and staff are doing their best to make this change work.

“It 100% is tough feeling like some of your teachers don’t really know the real you, but having that connection with those certain teachers definitely leads to better grades, better communication, and having trust in someone who you can always go to for help outside of school,” Budner said. 

Although there are many challenges faced by creating important bonds, there have been many positives that never would have happened if COVID-19 did not occur. 

“If there is an independent activity that we’re working on in class such as a video, I’ll actively try to hop onto the chat and make those private messages with students one on one. This helps them open up to me and I like being able to talk to them one on one, even over Zoom,” Mr. Hinkle said.

In times like these, it really helps students when teachers show their endless support.

“There is just so much ease and it feels like you have a friend to talk to about anything and make anyone feel better,” Budner said.

Creating relationships with students is never easy, especially with COVID-19. There are many positives from being able to connect with students, which can overall improve the classroom environment. Luckily, there have been several opportunities created where these bonding experiences never would have been possible if COVID-19 was not a thing.