Student Story: Student Connections With Teachers Valuable To School Performance

By: Cristalys Santiago, Camden Academy Charter High School

CAMDEN, N.J. — All students at one point in their lives have lived an experience where their personal problems affected their performance in school. 

A recent study in Michigan found that only 57 percent of third graders significant personal problems out of school achieve basic proficiency levels on the statewide reading exam compared with 65 percent of third graders with no prior issues. The study also found a gap in math proficiency just as large, with only 44 percent of students with negative experiences achieving proficiency compared with 51 percent among the others.

Many students find help with their problems and improve their academics by building connections with teachers. Teachers not only guide us in our learning experiences but help us to be the best we can be. They have a special talent that is able to add a little bit of sprinkles to the lives of those who suffer.

Although finding teachers with true passion and charisma is hard to find, there are teachers who exist out there that actually want to make positive impacts on the lives of those who need someone’s support and attention.

I am a senior, who attends Camden Academy Charter High School, and I was fortunate enough to find amazing teachers that helped me through my toughest moments in life. I had teachers who I was able to open up and speak about my personal problems. That helped me get my teachers to understand why I was not at the right stage mind to perform well academically. The teacher to student connection should be something created naturally just for the well being of students who feel lonely and depressed. 

My junior year of high school was pretty rocky. I was experiencing a lot of personal problems at home. I didn’t know how to confront my problems daily. Little by little, and without noticing, I began to fail in school. My English teacher started noticing my change in class. She gave me words of inspiration and motivated me to keep moving forward in life. I felt super comfortable telling her my worries, and she was kind enough to listen to me and help me. 

I have witnessed my peers talk about how they felt like a weight was pushed off their chest after talking to an adult. They ended up being comfortable with that specific teacher and also received words of wisdom that they will now walk with for the rest of their lives.

No student should feel intimidated with building a connection with his or her teacher; they should feel safe knowing that someone who sees them everyday is concerned about their well being. If students find the right help they need, then they can get help in school and do better.