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Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

This week, we are focused on research on teacher-student relationships and the impact of those relationships on student achievement. This week also begins the first round of scores released for AP exams.

AP score release
Students who took AP tests during the first window will receive their scores this week, beginning Wednesday for students in New York and Thursday for students in Illinois. Students can see the schedule and access their accounts here.

Teacher-Student Relationships
In our work with students, we know how important the relationship is between a teacher and a student; students spend an enormous amount of time with the teachers in their lives. A positive relationship can be essential to becoming a life-long learner, but a negative relationship can have serious long-term effects on a student’s engagement in learning and school.

Why are teacher-student relationships important?
Education research often focuses on content or instructional strategies, and exceptional relationship-building may be overlooked. However, research dedicated to these relationships shows that they are not only essential for student satisfaction and enjoyment of school and learning, but that strong teacher-student relationships were associated with other essential academic behaviors and attitudes, both in the short term and the long term. These include increased academic engagement, higher attendance and grades, lower dropout rates, and fewer disruptive behaviors and suspensions. Importantly, these effects were present even when controlling for a variety of factors that often correlate with these behaviors and attitudes, such as student and school socioeconomic status.

Strong relationships aren’t just essential for students. Teachers with strong relationships with their students experience more joy and less anxiety in the classroom; these relationships were a strong predictor of teachers’ emotional experiences in the classroom.

For these reasons and others, we prioritize and carefully cultivate mentoring relationships between instructors and students in our programming. In the days ahead, we’ll explore the research on specific types of teacher-student relationships, how those relationships vary across demographics, and what the significance of this research is in light of considerations around continued remote learning for students.

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

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