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The Value of Positive Relationships Among Teacher Education Faculty and Preservice Teachers in Determining Academic Success and Personal Growth


"With the 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE, 2008) report showing a slight need for improvement in faculty/student relationships, it is a good time for teacher educators to rethink and revisualize the ways in which we mentor, guide, and instruct preservice teachers on a daily basis. Although the current report shows improvement since 2002, when the survey showed faculty/student relationships at high risk, the need for heightened sensitivity and awareness persists. It is our responsibility to prepare these men and women to teach the young children who will one day be the adults in control of our nation and our lives. We too often see these preservice teachers as college students who sometimes forget to read the chapter assignment, text in class, or request assignment extensions. We do not, as a rule, take time to look into their eyes and see who they really are. ...I was once guilty of seeing the masses and not the individual: herding preservice teachers in and out of my office on a 20-minute rotation during advisement, and rushing to class, teaching, and leaving without a single personal word to any of my pre-service teachers. I certainly was not modeling how I hoped they would react to the young students they would one day teach. So, I set for myself a set of objectives leading up to one specific goal: modeling for my preservice teachers what a quality educator should and can be. I share these objectives here."