Teacher / Student Relationships Matter – A Lot


We have many special events throughout the year @oostburgschools, and one at the top of my list is always the spring Voice and Jazz concert. Taking place at the UW-Sheboygan Campus for many years, last year the event was moved back to OHS and expanded to include a meal, dinner music and entertainment. Due to large crowds and high interest, this year’s program added a second date making this a two evening event.

The concert performances caused me to reflect on the ground-breaking education meta-analysis completed by John Hattie in his book Visible Learning. Hattie lists student-teacher relationships as 11th out of 138 items in terms of impact (effect size) on learning.  The research confirms what most of us know – student-teacher relationships matter a lot.  Simply put, it is tough to have a significant impact on student learning absent the ability to build relationships.  Our spring vocal / jazz performances provided a lot of evidence of those relationships.

The relationship piece really comes through each year as Mrs. Mueller and Mrs. Howell participate with a short kit during the performance. This year’s contribution included a parody of the popular theme song from the movie Frozen.  Take a few minutes to click on the Youtube link below to see that segment of the evening.  In addition to our choir and band director dressing up and singing, you will also notice three special accompanist in the background.  On drums you will see Mrs. Howell’s husband. On base guitar you will see her dad, and on keyboard her uncle.

There are many examples from staff members across our district which demonstrate that teaching is much more than simply what they do….it really is a large part of who they are.  In many cases teaching is a family endeavor where spouses and children chip in as our teachers invest in the young people of our community. The Vocal / Jazz concert is a perfect example of what is right in education: students  partnering with their teachers as they take on challenging work together – definitely a night to be proud of!

The “Frozen” parody is about 8 minutes long but you can skip in to the 4 minute mark to get to the actual singing. Enjoy!