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TEACHER STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS
1.1 Background of the Study
The school is a small community or large family depending on how one looks at it. Hence it is looked at as a place of intensive social interaction, a place where social relationships are established that may last as long as one lives and could make or mar personalities. So it has to be taken very seriously. There are relationships between the teachers, the students-students and other students, between the head teacher and his subordinates, between the school and his subordinates, between the school and the community in which it is situated, between the school and the parents of the children and the school and government.
Most students find school life enjoyable but some do not. The schools provide most children the platform for healthy growth, physically, morally and most importantly emotionally. For physical growth, every school provides students opportunities for games and sports (football, handball, basket ball, law-tennis, athletics), house sports and inter-school competitions, all these give students opportunities for healthy growth as well as creating effects on their performance. Onyia (2002) observed that moral training, religious and moral instructions and practices which are on the school time table as well as school rules and regulations provide the opportunities for training in leadership and in followership.
Ikpe (2005) stated that each student has his own distinct potential and limitations. The extent of realization of his potentialities depends on the richness of the child’s environment, his initial interaction with his or her colleagues, his later contact with them. Ojo (1997) noted that classroom climate is how learners interact among themselves during the teaching-learning process. Johnson and Johnson (1988) observed that this has not been received adequate attention by educational researchers, yet the way learners interact among themselves in the learning process has been found to have effect on the outcome of learning. Ojo (1992) observed that more emphasis is being placed on learning materials relative to how learners are organized in the learning process.
It is pertinent to note that for over the years there has been an argument among many psychologists and educationists about the determinants of academic performance of students. While some stress the attitude of teachers others attribute what to other school environmental factors such as class discipline, student-student relationship, teachers-students relationship, availability of instructional materials in secondary schools, etc. (Okon, 2008).
According to Ojo (1992) more emphasis is being placed on learning materials relative to how learners are organized in the learning process. The creation of a conducive learning environment is of particular importance at the secondary level, given the rather tender ages of these learners vis-à-vis our desire to retain them in the school and sustain their interest in the school system. The way teachers structure their classroom environments in terms of how learners interact among themselves during the learning process may have effect on students’ school achievement.
School location is also significant to effectiveness of student’s learning. This is because the distance of school location will determine the consistency and punctuality of students’ attending school lessons. Some students rather will prefer to enroll in a school that is closer to their homes. It would make the students participate actively in school activities as well as improving their performance. Most parents especially with low income who cannot avoid transport cost to their children will prefer suburban schools (Onyehalu, 2002).
It is essential to note that class size is one of the important factors that affects student’s achievement at school. If the number of students assigned to a particular class is more than the specific size, it would definitely disrupt effective management of the class by the teacher. According to Witting, (2003), too many students congested in a small classroom will affect negatively the performance of students in that class. One of the characteristics of a conducive learning environment is a small class size assigned for a teacher at a time. Psychologically, students feel free and comfortable when they sit with adequate class size (30 to 40 in number) of students and improve their listening skills without much distraction.
Teachers attitude towards teaching plays a very prominent role in the academic performance of the learners Udoukpong and Okon (2005) noted that classroom teaching, which is influenced by the attitude of the teacher is an extremely complex task often carried out in an extremely complex work environment. Research on teaching has established that the key to successful classroom management is teachers’ ability to maximize the time that students spend actively engaged in worthwhile activities (Brophy, 1988).
Considering instructional strategies in any school subject inNigeria, the teacher represents the most important aspects of the educational system. It is on the teacher that the implementation of the curriculum depends. Improvement in the quality of our educational system is the teachers’ responsibility (Adaralegbe, 1981). Thus, drawing on the literature on the concept of teaching, the centrality of the variables in effective curriculum implementation can be gauged from one of the conclusions of the House of Commons Select Committee Report (1986) which stated that “the skills of diagnosing learning success and difficulty and selecting and presenting new tasks are the essence of teachers’ profession and vital to children’s progress”. The approach takes due account of the role of the learner in mediating and structuring knowledge and places even greater stress on teachers’ competence in subject matter. Several studies have noted the important of teachers- students relationship and academic performance of the students.
Teachers’ daily behaviour is the key factor in his students’ value formation as he is a model or an example for the students who look up to him as someone very special and to be trusted (Okam, 1998). The teacher who demonstrates good moral values in school and in the society, equally with hard work will exhibit the same values on his students. Thus, Huitt (2004) noted that the teacher should maintain an open classroom atmosphere where students are free to discuss without fear of sanction.
1.2 Statement of the Problem