Teachers hold the key to educational and emotional development of children
Teachers are the key to the emotional wellbeing and future development of their students.
The ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) study shows that children who dislike their teachers are more unhappy in school, they have lower self-esteem, are less confident as learners, have poorer behaviour, and poorer body image than those who like their teachers.
They also are more anxious and see themselves as less popular than their classmates, according to the ERSI's Growing Up in Ireland study which followed 7,500 students from the age of nine up until they turned 13.
It says that children's self image is strongly related to their engagement and relationship with their teacher. Children whose teachers report they have discipline problems tend to view themselves in a less positive light. They also have higher levels of anxiety. They are less confident about themselves as learners, and report lower happiness levels.
"The biggest finding from this report is the impact a social relationship between children and teachers can have," said the report's author Dr Emer Smyth.
The study also found that boys and girls have slightly higher levels of happiness in classes where computing technologies are used daily. Boys and girls who spend longer on homework tend to be less confident about their capacity to cope with school work.
Girls who "always" receive help with homework from their family are less confident as learners. Spending longer on homework is likely to reflect underlying academic difficulties which will also be reflected in poor academic self image.