Creating Productive Relationships to Support Student Growth & Well-Being

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  • 0:04 Safe & Supportive Classrooms
  • 1:03 Building a Foundation
  • 2:07 Greetings & Asking Questions
  • 2:44 Using Your Words & Smiling
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Linda Jones

Linda has taught at the secondary and college levels. She has a master's degree from the University of Minnesota.

This lesson provides you with a toolbox of practical strategies for creating a productive learning environment that fosters student growth and well-being. Read on to learn more.

Safe & Supportive Classrooms

Creating productive relationships with your students is an essential ingredient to providing a safe and supportive learning environment. Learning is about relationships and can be thought of as a triangle called the triad of classroom relationships. At the top of the triangle is the student's relationship to self. This involves accessing the student's prior knowledge and experiences, because they provide the student with the foundation upon which to build new knowledge. The right-hand point of the triangle is the student's relationship with other students. When students work together, they can share each other's prior knowledge and experiences. Finally, the left-hand point of the triangle is the student's relationship with the teacher, a relationship built on trust and mutual respect.

Triad of Classroom Relationships
Triad of Classroom Relationships

The strategies that we're about to look at are some practical ways you can create and maintain those relationships in your classroom. All of these activities are appropriate for elementary through secondary school age children. They may require some adaptations to be age appropriate, but the concept is the same.

Building a Foundation

You need to manage your classroom by consistently following through on your classroom management plan. Consistency helps to build respect and trust between you and your students. You might present a classroom management plan to your students, or you might develop a classroom management plan with your students. Whichever method you choose, remember to develop a plan that you can live with, and keep it simple.

It's important to develop classroom rules or guidelines using positive words and phrases rather than language that sounds punitive. Here's a list to get you started.

At elementary level, you should tell your students to do the following:

  • Follow directions
  • Raise your hand to speak
  • Be kind to others and yourself
  • Use your inside voice
  • It's OK to say I don't know

At the secondary level, you should tell your students to do the following things:

  • Follow directions
  • Raise your hand to contribute to classroom discussions
  • Keep asking until you really understand
  • Be in your assigned seat on time
  • Laugh with anyone, but laugh at no one
  • Bring textbook, notebook, homework, and pen/pencil to class every day

Greetings & Asking Questions

Greet your students every day as they enter your classroom. More specifically, greet them by name. Simple, yet effective. Think back to a class you've taken where you knew the teacher didn't know your name. Did it make you feel anonymous or invisible? It probably did, and you certainly don't want your students to feel this way.

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