The importance of fostering positive teacher-student relationships

kidsWho was your favourite teacher growing up and what do you remember most about them? I’m confident most of you would describe how they made you feel and the sense of excitement and the confidence you felt on your road to discovery.

The function of a teacher is both diverse and meaningful. Teachers have a greater responsibility than simply standing in front of a class delivering material. It is now mandatory for them to teach social values and etiquette, mediate conflicts and most importantly develop positive-teacher student relationships.

A child’s academic and social development hinges on a teacher’s capacity to develop a positive and long lasting relationship. Students who have a healthy relationship with their teacher are more likely to achieve gains or experience success when they feel valued and respected than students who don’t have a personnel connection to the teacher. A student is more likely to show more engagement in an academic setting and display less disruptive behaviour when they experience regular communication, praise and guidance from their teacher. Positive teacher-student relationships promotes their desire to learn.

Canter and Canter (1997) make the statement that we all can recall classes in which we did not try very hard because we didn’t like our teachers. This should remind us how important it is to have strong, positive relationships with our students.

Imagine for a moment. You have a boss who makes you feel valued, respected and appreciates you as an individual. Are you more likely please your boss? How would you then feel if your boss didn’t value you as a person and lacked respect for you? This is how a child feels. That’s is why it’s critical to develop a positive supportive classroom environment. It’s important to remember, students are more willing to want to please you and behave appropriately when they are treated with respect and appreciated.

What to do │ fostering positive teacher-student relationships

  • Be patient, engage in conversation and actively listen
  • Get to know each child, the lives they live and learn about their interests and needs
  • Spend time with them individuality and seek out the those who are reluctant or problematic
  • Show students you want them to be successful through words and actions
  • Create a positive environment and enhance relationships among peers

What not to do  │  fostering positive teacher-student relationships

  • Accept that treating a child with respect and being nice is enough. Teachers set high standards for their students and encourage opportunities for students to make a personal connection with their teachers and their peers.
  • Don’t admit defeat too quickly in your efforts to develop a positive teacher-student relationship.

Rita Pierson states, “It’s hard to learn if you don’t feel connected. Which means that kids don’t just need a teacher, they need a champion, someone who believes in them, invests in them, nurtures in them the belief that they can be more than they are, that all kinds of things they don’t imagine are possible”.

By Cooper Dawson
Date Night – Saturdays in London under £40: Evin in Dalston

Date Night – Saturdays in London under £40: Evin in Dalston

We were a little worn out on Saturday night so decided to take a wander around our own Dalston neighbourhood to discover a fab deal under £40 for both of us (one of our dining and entertainment challenges of late).

I was being indecisive with regards to what I felt like eating, but knew I wanted to try something different, and maybe even sample dishes, tapas style. I’d been to Evin in Dalston previously for a daytime meeting, but never noticed the extensive menu.

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The sharing plates menu outside on Kingsland High Street caught our attention, and when we saw some food being served we were sold…. it looked good!


We decided to give this nice little spot a try, and we were impressed that the staff brought over a delicious plate of bread and dips with an apology that our drinks had been delayed. Happily munching away on this delicious starter, we browsed the large Turkish-inspired menu and settled on a plate of vegetable moussaka and the hot meze selection (cheese roll, falafel, fried courgette, calamari, fried muscles, halloumi cheese, grilled sausage and small meatball, just £11.95).

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Long story short, our feast was nothing short of delicious; beautifully presented, and accompanied by a good old fashioned Long Island Iced Tea each, our bill skimmed in at around £35, and we left feeling totally happy with our lot. Highly recommended.

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Evin Café, Bar & Restaurant
115 Kingsland High Street
closest tube, Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction


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Date Night – Saturdays in London under £40: Drunken Monkey, Shoreditch

Long ago, in an Aussie country town called Moree, an Irish girl working in our local pub told us to look up a cool dance remix of Eminem’s Without Me, by “Drunken Monkey.” This ended up being one of our very fave party tracks from 2001/02 onwards. We played the !!!! out of it.

It’s no wonder that when we first showed up in London and were told about a cool spot in Shoreditch called just this, we added it to the top of our must-visit list, for sentimental reasons.

Date Night London under £40 Drunken Monkey

Cooper got all sentimental again this weekend, and on his turn to organise “Date Night, Saturday in London for under £40”, he chose this fab little spot, Drunken Monkey (Shoreditch High Street), just down the road from where we’re based in Dalston.

Also, he discovered via their website that they have a wicked cocktail deal on from midday to 8pm, plus you can buy a bucket of 4 beers (a delic Japanese brew, Kirin, no less!) for a £10er.

Date Night London under £40 Drunken Monkey

We arrived  at around 5pm and were lucky enough to only-just score a table – I’d advise booking here no matter what time you plan to go, it’s popular. To a beat of cool old-skool dance pop, and funky tunes from the likes of Fat Boy Slim and Scissor Sisters, we merrily perused the menu of Asian-inspired cuisine which you can either eat as a main meal (one larger dish each), or order as a set of smaller dishes – tapas or izakaya style. This time around we decided to share, and for under £20 enjoyed chicken & vegetable gyoza, “Drunken ribs”, spring rolls and Singapore noodles. This is just one of many combinations we could have ordered for under £20. As always, the food was lovely.

Date Night London under £40 Drunken Monkey

With £10 left in our budget and a little time to indulge in Happy Hour deals, we decided to try something from the cocktail menu – at just £4.50 each it would be rude not to. Cooper was very pleased with his choice of Shanghai Sling featuring a base of gin and sherry liqueur (bit sweet for me though); and our waitress suggested I’d like the Drunken Pear with vodka and prosecco among other ingredients. She was right, by the way – totally could have had another three, but Cooper reminded me of times gone by where several more cocktails seemed like an awesome idea at the time… not so much the next morning.

Date Night London under £40 Drunken Monkey

If you enjoy a vibrant atmosphere, scrumptious Asian fare and a cheeky (monkey) deal on drinks, reserve a space here.

Date Night London under £40 Drunken Monkey

By Sarah Blinco & Cooper Dawson.

Date Night – Saturdays in London under £40: Bar Soho

Date Night – Saturdays in London under £40: Bar Soho

Cooper and I have a mission in 2015 – to save money. That, and to discover somewhere new and delicious every Saturday night in London, for under £40.

This past weekend, we decided to revisit one of our fave haunts in Soho; one that we missed the refurb-launch of about a year ago. We were therefore excited to check out the ‘new’ Bar Soho. We’ve always loved this place for its awesome vibe, up-tempo dance/pop soundtrack and diverse, entertaining crowd. Importantly, these guys still have their ridiculously awesome happy hour – 50% off between 5 and 8pm*.

Alcohol is included in this deal, but to score 50% off your food bill, simply register on their website here, grab your exclusive code, and you’re in for one inexpensive yet fun night out. Note, this deal is happening in January 2015, but, Bar Soho are cool in that they always have special deals happening, so sign up to their mailing list or check the website for current options.

*NB. details were accurate at time of publishing, so deals may vary, but this place is great value either way so well worth a visit.

Bar Soho Peach Mimosa

Here’s an example of what you can enjoy for an investment of £20 each:

1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
+ two cocktails each (e.g. Long Island Iced Tea, Cosmopolitan, or a champagne cocktail such as a delic Peach Mimosa)
A Great British Beef Burger or Chicken Burger, both with salad and fries

Bar Soho Burger

Cheeky tip: Drop the Bar Soho team a line prior to your visit to see if you can reserve a table for your visit. It’s much comfier than hanging out by the bar waiting for a space to open up …

More at, W1D 5JL; nearest tubes are Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.

By Sarah Blinco & Cooper Dawson.

The Grooming Guy – Wellman skin care review

The Grooming Guy – Wellman skin care review

British health and supplements company, Vitabiotics, have entered the thriving male skincare market with their Wellman Skin Technology range for men. Designed to complement a healthy lifestyle, Wellman offers a perfect option for men who pride themselves on achieving healthy, clean, hydrated skin.

The basics of any grooming program is to cleanse, scrub and moisturise but since my introduction to Wellman, I’ve added a fourth; under eye serum. Over the last month I’ve been fortunate enough to sample this range, specifically formulated for men, and to my surprise I’ve had a positive response from my skin.

2D-WEL Skin Tech range

Ultra Energising Facial Wash

The facial wash is almost completely clear and it has an understated scent. The wash is light and comes out quickly so be aware of wastage. Surprisingly, you only need a small amount for a nice lather to help remove the impurities and pollutants in your skin. Even my girlfriend loves this one!

Exfoliate and Invigorate Facial Scrub

A good face scrub is a key player in helping you achieve smooth skin and a vibrant complexion. I found this exfoliate gentle and it helped reduce the dry, flaky areas around my nose, which I’m occasionally prone to. Apply once or twice a week in a light circular motion for a period of time.

Ultra Hydrating Anti-ageing Moisturiser

The true test of any moisturiser is if it causes blemishes or pimples which are normally evident after a week. Luckily, my skin had a positive reaction with its unique blend of antioxidants. Additionally, it also contains SPF-15 to offer protection from the sun which is the biggest factor in helping to reduce the ageing process.

Anti-fatigue Under Eye Serum

I’ve only recently added this to my skin routine as I’d grown accustomed to the dark circles under eyes and to be honest I hadn’t really thought about their demise. After a few weeks I’d notice that the dark circles and puffiness had faded slightly. Which was enough for me to continue using.

Available from online from

PS – to complement this excellent skin care regime, why not try Wellman’s supplement, which works to improve your skin and health from the inside.


What grooming goodies can’t you live without? Drop us a line in the comments to let us know.

By Cooper Dawson