Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Sarah Stizlien


The impact an educator has on a student's life far exceeds the academic content being learned. The development of positive relationships between the teacher and student fosters the student's feelings of connectedness to their education. A strengthened connection leads to an increase in motivation, effort, and achievement. Unfortunately, positive teacher-student relationships are not the primary focus of today's educational systems. An educational philosophy advocating for real-ationships emphasizes the need for positive teacher-student relationships. The real-ationship's characteristics and implementation are described in detail, while real-life examples depict the positive experiences I have had as an educator within real-tionships. It is a philosophy that can be adopted by any teacher, any grade, at any type of school: it offers a 'way of being' that cultivates healthy, positive encounters, interactions, and connections with one's students.