Kathryn Teston, Head of School for Fellowship Christian School, recently received her Doctorate of Education from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Dr. Teston's dissertation focused on the subject of Middle School Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Approachability and the Influence of Those Perceptions on Student-Teacher Interactions. Dr. Teston has served as an Educator for 40 years, with the last 13 years spent at Fellowship.
The pursuit of her doctorate has been a six year journey. "Six years ago, I continued my quest of being a lifelong learner by embarking on a journey to earn my Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction", states Dr. Teston. "At the time, I thought I would continue as the Elementary Principal at Fellowship Christian School and perhaps – one day – teach on a university campus. I decided my course would be entitled 'A Grounded Theory Study on Middle School Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Approachability and The Influence of Those Perceptions on Student-Teacher Interactions', as I believe the most important aspect of a teacher’s ability to connect students to learning is the relationship between teachers and their students. Fourteen middle school students in three different middle school models (public, private, and Christian – not Fellowship) provided the data for my study. In short, the three themes that emerged from the study, and the message that all of the participants communicated, revolve around their desire to feel close to their teachers, to be comfortable in asking their teachers for help, and to experience healthy dialogue with their teachers rooted in self-awareness (as students and teachers)."
Dr. Teston goes on to state, "The premise of a research study and the dissertation process is to identify a gap in the body of existing research. Although studies have been conducted regarding teacher approachability, self-awareness (EQ), and student-teacher relationships, no study was found that heard the students’ voices and perceptions of teacher approachability."
Dr. Teston will reveal her research findings to the faculty and staff, parents, and students at Fellowship Christian School in the Fall of 2017. For more information about Dr. Teston, please visit www.fellowshipchristianschool.org.