Be human

Core pedagogical principle #7

What does this principle mean?

Human connections, interactions, relationships are key for positive learning experiences, especially teacher-student relationships. Student success is intimately linked to their sense of belonging and that they matter. Whilst we have all been inspired by subjects and disciplines, it is probably the engaging, funny, caring teacher who helped us through the rougher times or who we went to for advice. Probably the most important attributes of an effective teacher are to be enthusiastic and even passionate about a topic whilst being understanding that the students all have different aspirations, backgrounds and personal lives.


  • Build culturally responsive practices, teaching designs, and teacher-student and student-student interactions
  • Demonstrate care and compassion for students’ and your own circumstances


  • Encourage the teaching team to use their own and students’ preferred names and to be friendly and approachable
  • Invite students to contribute and assist in optimising the learning and teaching environment
  • If there are problems with technology, be open and even self-deprecating
  • Be open about impacts on students and yourself of world or local events (bushfires, floods, lockdown), how you are supporting students (e.g. extending deadlines, being as flexible as possible), and how they can support you (e.g. provide regular feedback, inform teachers when technology fails)
  • Show your passion for learning and your discipline
  • Be open about your own educational and professional journey