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Research shows that the teacher's interest, respect and care for the student is an important factor in student achievement in school.
A large part of being an effective teacher in our school is not about the learning that you have about the place of culture or language, or not about the knowledge you have about Pasifika communities and how they work and things like that. It’s actually being open to establishing relationships with the students, and with the families. Not being afraid of that process, and really being able to seek help when you need it. And ask questions and say, “I don’t understand why this is happening, can someone explain it or help me understand.”
I’m always really eager to get the Samoan students to teach me new words. They sort of laugh when I try to use them in the class and stuff, but I think more so it’s forming a closer relationship, rather then just an academic relationship.
Teacher and student relationship to me should be number one, I think that it is very important, that teachers should be able to know and able to identify needs of Pasifika students. Right at the start, they should be able to do that, and all the other things can fall through, into that background. Because the student needs to have that warmth, that relationship, and if the teacher can get that, then they can create other things like environment, the classroom environment, and all that sort of stuff. But I reckon that student and teacher relationship should be the number one thing.