When students have a teacher for more than one year, they benefit academically and behaviorally, a new working paper shows.
The study, which was published this month by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, captures all instances of repeat student-teacher matches—a teacher who happens to move from 2nd to 4th grade, a high school math teacher who teaches multiple grade levels, and a teacher who “loops” with her same class for two years. But intentional looping is not very common, which the researchers say is an opportunity for schools as they work to meet students’ academic and social needs in the wake of the pandemic.
“Student-teacher relationships are a key and core feature of a successful school, and one way to help develop those is by giving teachers and students more time to get to know each other,” said Matthew Kraft, an associate professor of education and economics at Brown University and a co-author of the paper. “These relationships aren’t just about academic achievement. These relationships help students to show up to school and have a relationship where they’re not getting suspended as frequently.”