What does it take to be successful in the classroom? Aside from the obvious requirement of studying, just how necessary is it to like the teacher in order to achieve that passing grade? Teachers want to influence their students and be a positive influence on them. “I want to make a positive change on my students.” said Nadia a teacher in Alhikma Private School. When one thinks about what the student wants, the question of teacher likability arises. Learning in the classroom is much easier for the student if he or she can make a connection with the teacher. Liking the teacher leads to respecting the teacher, and once that teacher respect is earned, the student will strive to work hard in order to learn and to make good grades.

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Teacher personality is a strong indicator of methodology. Their instructional strategies are in direct line with their personalities. According to Kongkiat Khunasathitchai’s research, personality is one of the most important factors of learning. This pertains to both the personality of the teacher as well as the student. For many teachers, being nice in order to be liked is important. That is a valid point, but students tend to expect all teachers to be nice. A teacher’s personality has a direct effect on a student’s willingness to perform as well as on how the student behaves in class.

According to a recent survey, 70% of teachers felt that they were nice to students while also maintaining a strict classroom environment. This helps to prove that teachers feel a need to develop a relationship with their students, but they also recognize the importance of maintaining strict classroom management policies. This type of classroom environment is conducive to achieving the desired learning outcomes.

A teacher’s attitude directly effects the student’s attitude. Students consider the teacher’s personality and attitude essential in controlling the lessons and the learning process. Students tend to divide teachers into two categories: A) the teachers who seek to teach students and improve their skills, and B) teachers who seek the right answer from students rather than improving the students’ critical thinking skills.

Students have different methods for interacting with both types of teachers. For example, for Teacher A, students will feel challenged to compete and get creative as much as they can tin order to achieve their work for that teacher. For Teacher B, students will try to understand that teacher’s personality individually, which makes it challenging for students to compete internally and try to achieve better grades to please the teacher. Students look fondly on those teachers who push them to do their best and to think about their work rather than just achieve the correct answer. “I always liked my Economics teacher Mr. Omar; he always connects the subject to our daily life and makes examples easier to understand. He never limited our thoughts to getting the right answer from us, rather he helped us achieve great business plans, and reach excessive profits on our school business day,” said Alia Almheiri a student in Sharjah American International School – Dubai Campus. Furthermore, students expect all teachers to be nice or have the same personalities.

Students are more considerate when it comes to building a relationship with teachers. Students will always remember a unique teacher no matter how sweet or strict the teacher was. According to surveyed students, 52% believe in building a good relationship with teachers. Remarkably, 70% of students believed that a teacher’s personality would affect their grades. According to students, they preferred a teacher who would work with them and not against them, a teacher who would be enthusiastic about the lessons. “To be enthusiastic, teachers can create a lively and energetic classroom,” Kongkiat Khunasathitchai said.

Although most students dislike strict teachers, the majority agreed on the advantages of having a strict teacher since they are challenged to improve their skills. Having a strict teacher means having control of the classroom environment. This helps to not only improve student’s skills, or grades, but also to develop a good teacher-student relationship.

A positive change is what teachers will always want to aim for, but does personality count? Yes, since education is an interactive work that uses personality as a tool to build up an impression and dependability. Requiring teachers to work and communicate with a variety of students will go a long way towards helping students achieve their potential. A suitable student – teacher relationship does certainly impact students’ learning.