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5 Strategies to Build Healthier Classroom Relationships

Courtney Dealy - Boys Town National Training

Building positive relationships within a classroom has a major impact on a student’s academic and behavioral success.  When students believe that their teacher values and respects them, they are more likely to value and respect the teacher.  This mutual respect leads to students behaving more appropriately and participating in classroom activities.  In addition to a healthy relationship between teacher and student, healthy peer-to-peer relationships encourage inclusion, participation and make kids feel safe. When kids feel safe in the classroom, they are more likely to take positive risks both academically and socially.

Teacher and student in class

With these benefits in mind, it’s not hard to believe that building healthy relationships is very important!  Here are five tips to creating healthy classroom relationships and transforming the culture of your classroom:


  • Greet students at the door and use their names.  This lets students know that you know who they are and care for them.  Additionally, you will have a pulse on the emotional state of students as they enter your room.  For a fun twist you could even come up with a class handshake.

  • Call on students randomly and equitably.  Students view themselves (and are viewed by others) as more reputable when the teacher trusts them enough to call on them in class.  Try these different ways to call on your students randomly and equitably.

  • Allow for journal writing or other activities that allow students to share their experiences.  This gives students a voice and a stake in their classroom.

  • Engage students in cooperative activities.  Cooperative learning allows for peers to rely on each other, to begin to trust each other, to problem-solve, to practice conflict-management, and to use social skills.  Use these ideas to build your classroom community.

  • Increase class pride by displaying student work and showing your pride through verbal praise.-


Relationships are the hallmark of positive, welcoming, and focused classrooms.   The development of strong relationships can create a positive classroom climate in which students feel welcome, validated, and can learn and thrive.

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