According to Da Luz (2015), developing good and supportive learning relationships are needed to create the safe learning environment and gives learners confidence to work without pressure and become motivated to learn effectively in the school. Further, Da Luz said that specifically when school learners are exposed to positive emotional relationships stimuli, they are better able to recall newly learned information. Nielson and Lorber (2009) stressed that learners feel more motivated and stimulated to learn and actively collaborate with the teachers when the classroom is running in a safe and supportive learning environment. The relationships between the teachers and learners affect the quality of students’ motivation to learn and classroom learning experiences (Nielson & Lorber, 2009).
Davis (2015) noted that school operating as socializing agents, teachers can influence learners social learning and intellectual experiences via their learning abilities to instil values in the school learners such as effective learning; by providing classroom learning contexts that develops learners learning abilities; and by addressing learners need to belong; and by serving regulatory function for the development of learning talents. Moreover, supportive learning relationships with teachers may play an important developmental role during the transition to and through secondary school level (Davis, 2015). Pianta (2006) concurred with researcher Davis (2015) by claiming that student learning abilities to connect with their teachers is one of the attributes or factors that can make great difference in the student-learning environment. Additionally, Pianta stated that when learners feel that their teachers are supportive, trustworthy people, they tend to create the connection with their teachers and start to see their teachers as someone who is there to protect them and give them all the chances to enhance their academic learning and behave well in the classrooms (Pianta, 2006). Myers and Claus (2012) supported the views of Pianta (2006) by postulating that good classroom learning environment is important because the social learning climate teachers established with learners will provide some opportunities to see themselves as capable, worthy and confident members of the classroom learning setting and make them feel part of the learning process. Additionally, Myers and Claus concludes that the classroom learning environment consists of three overarching dimensions: the learning abilities for learners to develop relationships with their teachers and peers, the extent to which learners participate in the learning activities, and the general structure and order of the classroom learning environment provided by the teachers for conducive teaching and learning atmosphere in the classroom (Myers & Claus, 2012).
Da Luz (2015, p. 389) also supported research findings done by Myers and Claus in (2012), by saying that “when teachers communicate with their learners in a supportive manner, they establish positive classroom learning relationships and interactions in which communication is
efficient and characterized by few distortions, effective learning behaviour, and clear message transmission”. In the same line of thinking, Koplow (2002) proposed that effective teacher- learner relationships encourage greater confidence and classroom learning participation in much the same manner as sensitive teaching encourages greater sense of security and confidence. Furthermore, Koplow stated that learners need the confidence and motivation to learn, which could be stimulated by the relationships they hold with their teachers in the school learning environment. In the same vein, Da Luz (2015) agreed with Koplow (2002), views by saying that learners also perform well when they feel that the teacher is passionate about what they are teaching and pass security and confidence to the learners. Lastly, when teachers believe in the student learning abilities to succeed it motivates the teachers, because learners do not want to let the teachers down but it also makes learners believe that they are more capable than they even imagined (Da Luz, 2015). Thus, the researcher supports that teacher-student relationship is very crucial in the school environment, because it helps learners to develop positive learning abilities and self-confidence. This also motivates the teachers to interact positively with learners and enjoying teaching in the classroom
According to Aina, Olanipekun, and Garuba (2015), maintaining positive classroom learning environment for student learning is the responsibility of an effective teacher. Further, Aina et al. (2015) stated that it was easy to distinguish between a teacher who is effective and the one who is not effective by the way, they manage their school classroom environment when the lesson is going on, and managing the classroom well for effective student learning is the task of an effective teacher. Orji (2014) concurred with some scholars like Aina et al. (2015) above by postulating that the ability of the teachers to organize classrooms and manage the behaviour of their learners is central to achieve good educational learning outcomes and foster positive classroom learning relationships. Oliver and Reschly (2007) also affirmed that effective
teaching requires among other things basic classroom management strategies and skills which include understanding of the nature of classroom learning environment, and stated that the teachers with problems in the classroom, have poor classroom management and ineffective in their teaching and learning classrooms, and this has negative effect on the student academic learning outcomes (Oliver & Reschly, 2007).
Aina (2013) clarified that an effective teacher will always interact well with learners both within and outside the school-learning environment, because this is very important to enhance students’ academic learning. Furthermore, Aina (2013) stated that positive interactions between teacher and learner in the classroom is very essential, because it contributes to good desired learning outcomes of learners and effective teachers ensure maximum interactions that will improve the students’ academic learning. On the other hand, Orji (2014) reported that lack of adequate interactions between the teacher and learner is one of the reasons why Science learners do not perform very well in the classroom practical activities. Additionally, Orji (2014) also postulated that interest and achievement of learners lies within the teacher and students interactions and relationships in any given subject, and concluded by saying that creating learning environment that develops positive learning cultures with healthy interactions can motivate learners to channel their energies and desires to reach their learning subject’s targets (Orji, 2014).
Knoell (2012) agreed with Orji (2014) views by expressing that teacher-student relationships and interactions is very important in the learning environment, because it makes student learning successful. The relationships and interactions between the teacher and learner is essentially the fundamental basis for effective teaching and learning. Knoell also pointed out that good teacher-student relationship may be even more valuable for learners with good behaviour and learning challenges in the classroom lesson discussions (Knoell, 2012). On the same note, Aina, Olanipekun, and Garuba (2015) found that most learners learn best in the
classroom where they are able to freely express their feelings. Moreover, Knoell (2012, p.12) supported and agreed with Aina et al., (2015) sentiments by saying that learning occurs best in the learning environment that contains positive interpersonal relationships and interactions and in which learner feels more appreciated, acknowledged, respected, and admired. Furthermore, Knoell argues that learners who enjoyed close and supportive learning relationships with teachers are more involved, works harder in the classroom learning, persistence in the face of difficulties, and cope better with the learning challenges in the classroom activities (Knoell, 2012).
According to Liberante (2012), the effect of teacher-student relationships on the student learning has received significant attention, and the teachers do have vital role to play in determining and assisting students to achieve their learning success goals. Furthermore, Liberante states that in order for learners to be successful in their academic learning, a momentous teacher to learner relationships has been noted to be an essential element. On the same note, Liberante (2012) also pointed out that the complexity in learner to teacher relationships results into negative and poor academic learning on the learners (Liberante, 2012). According to Orji (2014), good quality teaching and learning is connected with positive student academic learning feelings and behaviour in the classroom-learning environment. In the same vein, Knoell (2012) agreed with Orji (2014), opinions by further explaining that good quality teachers are not termed just machines that are well greased or lubricated but they are known to be teacher emotional and enthusiastic individuals control who relate well with their learners and create pleasurable working relationships and positive classroom learning environment with creativity, challenges and happiness for student academic learning success (Knoell, 2012).
Moreover, Orji (2014) argues that the close emotional relationships between the teachers and learners have positive effect on the student learning. For instance, learners need to recognize the benefits of the classroom-learning environment as their home, even though the classroom
is away from the learners’ home. The teachers’ time devotion to learners’ academic learning has been of great assistance in inspiring learners to attain their academic learning targets/goals and passing requirements of secondary school level (Orji, 2014). Nugent (2009) postulated that if teachers take the initiative to build supportive relationships with learners, they motivates learners to learn effectively and this will improve the student learning positively. In addition, Nugent also argued that further research suggested that teachers need to possess strong belief that creating relationships plays significant role in the process of motivation towards student academic learning. Orji (2014) noted that all the teachers familiarised with the effects they have on their students’ academic learning, and strongly restore in mind their perception of learners towards them. According to Liberante (2012) teachers have to make sure that there are learners needs, not only academically learning but emotionally as well, and developing good classroom learning environment that channels positive learning cultures with healthy relationships that encourages learners to use their energies, desires and work very hard to achieve their academic learning goals (Liberante, 2012).