Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliot, Nathan


In the last 50 years of education, student behaviors have become an increasingly important topic. Behaviors are an outward expression of how students feel about themselves, their classroom, or their teachers. Teachers have power in how they can impact students and it all starts with a relationship and rapport. If teachers want students to care about what we are teaching, they must show an interest in them as people first. It is a cycle that promotes stronger interpersonal connections which leads to deeper academic engagement. Teacher-student relationships affect students academically but also as a whole person. Research suggests that when teachers use positive verbal and non-verbal immediacy, pay attention to mental health, have a balance between a warm environment and high expectations, and communicate with students outside of academics students are more motivated; which impacts their academics.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis