Building & Promoting Positive Peer Relationships in the Classroom

Instructor: Jennifer Carnevale

Jennifer has a dual master's in English literature/teaching and is currently a high school English teacher. She teaches college classes on the side.

While content and skill are important parts of the classroom, one cannot adequately deliver said material without a positive environment that fosters learning for all. In this lesson we will learn about different strategies to build and promote positive peer relationships in the classroom.

Building a Foundation

Have you ever been in a classroom where no one talks? Whether you are the teacher or student in this scenario, it can be an uncomfortable experience. Peer engagement is crucial to the learning process. When students do not feel comfortable in a classroom, they can become withdrawn and refuse to participate. As teachers, how do we create an environment where all feel comfortable and want to participate in the activities and with each other?

When it comes to building and promoting positive peer relationships in the classroom, starting relationships between peers then leads to a relationship with the content; read on to learn more.


A great way to promote a welcoming environment and get everyone to know each other early in the year is through icebreakers. An icebreaker is an activity that promotes communication with people you don't know and relieves the tension in the room through some type of exercise. Here are a few ideas to help get students moving and talking in your classroom.

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