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The Importance of the Student-Teacher Connection for Struggling Readers

The relationship between a student and a teacher can significantly mark a learner’s academic journey. Teachers who are attentive to the needs and concerns of their students create important bonds and foster a positive learning environment. Children with learning differences, like dyslexia, significantly benefit from positive student-teacher connections as they face unique challenges in academic settings. 

Students with dyslexia may struggle with reading skills, but a lasting student-teacher connection can provide the needed support to make their potential limitless. Read below to learn more about how student-teacher relationships can stimulate growth for struggling readers. 

Connection Promotes Academic Progress

A teacher who cultivates positive connections with their students typically witnesses tremendous growth throughout their time in school. When a teacher has a positive relationship with a student, they can build confidence in their students and encourage them to take more risks. 

Students who struggle with reading skills trust academic mentors who consistently recognize their strengths, give active feedback, and inspire a love of reading. Additionally, educators who foster a positive student-teacher connection become familiar with what their students excel in and where they may need help.

Student-Teacher Connections Lead to Identifying Potential Areas of Growth

The process of a child becoming a confident reader often begins with identifying potential areas of growth. When a teacher successfully identifies areas where students need reinforcement, they can strategize how to best interact with the student while addressing their needs. Depending on the growth areas, teachers can implement creative ways to make reading a more manageable activity and help their struggling readers flourish. Using assistive resources, alternative assignments, or strategies for decoding can all help a child hone their reading skills efficiently and creatively. With the right help from a caring educator, a dyslexic student can become a prolific reader.

Connections Have Long-Term Benefits for Students and Teachers

While student-teacher connections may provide tangible benefits in the short term, the long-term effects of a positive relationship can make a life-long difference in a child. When a child identifies their teacher as an ally, they take those positive interactions and apply them to other aspects of their life outside of the classroom. 

A positive student-teacher connection can impact how a child navigates academic and social environments. For example, if a student receives positive attention from a teacher as they develop reading and writing skills, they may be inspired to work harder in other core subjects like mathematics, language arts, or science. Additionally, a struggling reader who has an empathetic/supportive teacher can see an example of understanding and kindness and may feel more comfortable showing empathy towards other peers who are struggling. 

Considering Methods that Enable Student-Teacher Connections

With teacher training, educators may learn teaching strategies tailored to address common challenges associated with a dyslexia diagnosis. Using brain-based research in reading, we know students need to be taught different components to become proficient readers. For decoding and encoding strategies, the Orton-Gillingham Approach is proven to be an effective system towards addressing some of the common issues struggling readers face in academic settings. Because teacher training in approaches such as Orton-Gillingham caters to the needs and struggles of dyslexic students, educators can strengthen their connections with struggling readers by knowing how to address their needs. 

A positive student-teacher connection can have a long-lasting and positive impact on a struggling reader. At The Dyslexia Resource, we take pride in serving the dyslexia community and helping struggling readers. With our online resources and teacher training courses, our goal is to empower communities to support and educate students with learning differences such as dyslexia. Contact us today for more information.

The Dyslexia ResourceThe Importance of the Student-Teacher Connection for Struggling Readers

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