Relationships Matter: Linking Teacher Support to Student Engagement and Achievement
“Relationships Matter” is one of six commissioned papers examining school connectedness as an important protective factor in the lives of young people. This paper illustrates the relationship between student experience of support from teachers, student engagement, and academic achievement among elementary and middle school students. Using longitudinal data from the First Things First school reform model, this paper traces how students who feel supported by their teachers (a measure of school connectedness) are more likely to be engaged in their schooling than peers who do not experience such support. The more engaged a student is in school, the better the academic performance and achievement.