Teachers dating students after they graduate

Motivation may play a key role in the relationship between teacher-student relationships and academic outcomes (Bandura, 1997; Fan & Willams, 2010; Pajares & Graham, 1996; Ryan, Stiller, & Lynch, 1994; Wentzel, 2003; Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992).Motivational theorists suggest that students’ perception of their relationship with their teacher is essential in motivating students to perform well (Bandura, 1997; Fan & Willams, 2010; Pajares & Graham, 1996; Ryan, Stiller, & Lynch, 1994; Wentzel, 2003; Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992).Students who have positive relationships with their teachers use them as a secure base from which they can explore the classroom and school setting both academically and socially, to take on academic challenges and work on social-emotional development (Hamre & Pianta, 2001).This includes, relationships with peers, and developing self-esteem and self-concept (Hamre & Pianta, 2001).Students in high-poverty urban schools may benefit from positive teacher-student relationships even more than students in high-income schools, because of the risks associated with poverty (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).Risk outcomes associated with poverty include high rates of high school dropout, lower rates of college applications, low self-efficacy, and low self-confidence (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).There is substantial research on the importance of teacher-student relationships in the early elementary years (Pianta, 1992; Hamre & Pianta 2001).However, little is known about the effects of teacher-student relationships on high school students.

Low-income students who have strong teacher-student relationships have higher academic achievement and have more positive social-emotional adjustment than their peers who do not have a positive relationship with a teacher (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).

These studies show that relationships with teachers in the later years of schooling can still significantly impact the academic achievement trajectories of students (Midgley et al., 1989).

Another example of the importance of teacher-student relationships in high school students stems from intervention studies aimed at improving academic outcomes for low-income students (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).

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