Positive teacher-student relationships — evidenced by teachers’ reports of low conflict, a high degree of closeness and support, and little dependency — have been shown to support students’ adjustment to school, contribute to their social skills, promote academic performance and foster students’ resiliency in academic performance (Battistich, Schaps, & Wilson, 2004; Birch & Ladd, 1997; Curby, Rimm-Kaufman, & Ponitz, 2009; Ewing & Taylor, 2009; Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Rudasill, Reio, Stipanovic, & Taylor, 2010).

Let us face it, another lockdown and children need to keep on learning. Be it virtual learning, online learning, remote learning, or evening Zoom learning (lol) however it is termed, learning still needs to take place !

The question now remains, where are these great relationships that have been developed and built upon in the classroom? These issues persuade me to reflect on the dramatic changes we all need to take.

All parents in one way or the other, will find themselves fully involved in learning activities during this season. The involvement is even higher once a child with special needs is involved. Parents can only hinge on the relationships that have been built, to set the course for the future for all our children.

I love to watch short inspirational videos of teachers and one video scene stands out for me. It is a scene of a teacher welcoming her kids back to school. The teacher presents varying styles of how each child wishes to be welcomed. I have always scrutinized with eager curiosity on the varying choices each child makes. My best choices have always been the rapid responses of children who simply want to be cuddled on arrival. Such a gratified action that we can no longer take for granted!

Virtual learning today has been built on the premise of these great relationships. It is those cuddles, smiles, great eye contacts that make all the difference and most learning desperately hinges on this and more.

Teacher-learner relationship is a key component in shaping learners’ progress and is one of the most influential factors of any learning environment.

Retrospectively, relationships between the teacher and learner will affect virtual learning and play a large role in the trajectory of a learner’s academic success and social development.

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