A recent report from New Zealand's Education Review Office finds that the relationship between students and secondary-school teachers is of "critical importance" to academic achievement. "Students' views of a subject area, specifically the way this was taught, were strongly linked to their feelings about the teacher," the report said. "Students valued teachers who could connect with their world view. They particularly appreciated it when teachers made learning interesting, understood and enjoyed them as teenagers, and had a sense of humour."

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