JUST LISTEN: STUDENTS TALK ABOUT LEARNING
Part 2 —The Teacher-Student Relationship



Just Listen

I wanna see, like, how much my teachers are actually interested in what they want from me, like what . . . what extent would they like want me to go to, or even surpass. What do they want to see me do? Like how far do they wanna see me achieve? And then when I’m secure on that, it makes me feel better to go further. —Rashaun, 17

In this second installment of our “Just Listen” series of one-minute video clips, high school students from NYC iSchool share reflections on the teacher-student relationship. We hope you’ll pass the clips on to others through the networks you use, as well as using them to spark thoughtful conversations in your own setting. To view these video clips full screen, click on the icon with four arrows in the lower right corner of the frame. Transcripts appear at the bottom of this page, followed by links to other parts of this growing collection.

NOTE: Over 200 of these Just Listen clips appear on the Just Listen channel on YouTube. Look on the right-hand side of the screen for playlists dedicated to specific themes: The Teacher-Student Relationship, Becoming Adult, Just-Right Learning Challenges, and many more. (If you want to get a new playlist by email once a week, click here and our Fires in the Mind blog will make that happen!)

Kyle, 16
Get to know your students
Maksoom, 17
The personal connection
Elijah, 17
We're all individuals
Max, 16
The power of teacher respect
Hannah, 16
Friendship with teachers
Rashaun, 17
The power of teacher expectations

TRANSCRIPTS

Get to know your students
One thing about this school that I really appreciate is that the teachers, they take their time to like get to know you. Like when you first come into the school or you’re starting a new class, there’s like throughout the first week here understanding what the class is going to be about. And like they . . . sometimes we play games to get to know each other. Like what we like to do, like we play this game “Two Truths and a Lie,” and several other games that just helps teachers and our fellow students just get to know each other a little better. —Kyle, 16

The personal connection
There are some teachers that connect to you personally that you get your experiences with, but there’s some that are just about, “Oh, yeah. Biology, biology.” Or, “Math, math. That’s all we’re about.” But I feel like if you can connect to a student, there’s more there that you can put out. Or a student would be able . . . to understand the situation better. —Maksoom, 17

We’re all individuals
I wish that they understood like how I am as a person instead of just another number, or like just another student in the classroom who they gotta know with a certain amount of time. Or just . . . ’cause we’re all individuals, but it has . . . but you gotta take that time individually to learn that person. —Elijah, 17

The power of teacher respect
I kinda wish they had a computer science course in this school, because that’s what I really wanna do. So I’m tryin’a do that, but other than that, if you’re talking about a way that I learn, there have been a lot of different teachers that use a lot of good methods. Like my teachers Mr. S. and Ms. J., they were really funny and really kinda down to earth. And they made me feel like I wasn’t . . . I was less of a student and more of like a person, I guess? Although that kinda makes it sound like my other teachers make me feel bad, but that’s not true. But I just like the way they taught. It was really good. —Max, 16

Friendship with teachers
I think it’s very important for a teacher to be a friend, but also to distinguish the difference that they’re not your friend, and that they’re your teacher as well. But as long as you have that type of connection where you guys can talk about things that are more than just school related, I feel like it strengthens your relationship with the school itself . . . It makes you feel a lot more comfortable in the classroom if you’re speaking in front of people or just getting your work done. And it’s a lot easier to ask the teacher questions and come to them with problems that you have, if you have a better relationship with them on a more personal level. —Hannah, 16

The power of teacher expectations
I wanna see, like, how much my teachers are actually interested in what they want from me, like what . . . what extent would they like want me to go to, or even surpass. What do they want to see me do? Like how far do they wanna see me achieve? And then when I’m secure on that, it makes me feel better to go further. —Rashaun, 17

Click on the links below to read other monthly JustListen postings.

INTRODUCTION | HOW SCHOOLS HELP KIDS BECOME ADULT | THE TEACHER-STUDENT RELATIONSHIP | WHAT MAKES A GOOD TEACHER | STUDENT SELF-ASSESSMENT AND REFLECTION | ANYTIME, ANYWHERE LEARNING

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“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”

– Deborah Meier, educator