June 18, 2010 by Willy Cardoso
Relationship is a human being’s feeling or sense of emotional bonding with another. It leaps into being like an electric current, or it emerges and develops cautiously when emotion is aroused by and invested in someone or something and that someone or something “connects back” responsively. We feel “related” when we feel at one with another (person or object) in some heartfelt way. (Perlman 1979)
Are you 100% YOU when teaching? Does it show?
When you’re happy, do you externalize that happiness and share it with your students? What about when you’re mad?
When your students say something you don’t agree, a strong opinion or belief for example, do you let them know you don’t agree? Do you feel uncomfortable and don’t say anything? Or do you simply think it’s not important for them to know your point of view?
Thinking to myself I came up with this chain of thought:
- We all want our students to have strong intrinsic motivation.
- Strong intrinsic motivation is fostered by a strong interest in personal growth.
- Promoting helping relationships is one very important aspect of providing for personal growth.
- Helping relationships are characterized by realness, openness and acceptance, especially from the part of the facilitator.
- Hence, the agents of a healthy learning relationship cannot wear a mask and cannot be afraid of being who they are, even if it means occasionally and when appropriate a show of disappointment, anger, stress, i.e. feelings we are usually reluctant to demonstrate in front of our students.
Have you held back what are apparently ‘negative’ feelings? Is that beneficial to a teacher-learner relationship that is arguably (?) made a lot more effective when grounded on mutual understanding and genuineness?
My recent experience tells me I should always seek to preserve this authenticity. However, I’m not sure of how much of this could be sustained if, for instance, I moved to a completely different country, in terms of culture and expected teacher behavior.
Have you experienced anything like this? What do you think?… source of inspiration: On Becoming a Person (Carl Rogers) …
After Nick’s comment (check out his excellent blog HERE), I felt that I could’ve made clearer what I mean by realness and genuineness and also that I could’ve provided some more examples. To fix that I thought it was a good idea to briefly refer to what Rogers (1961:51) named congruence.