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Cultivating Positive Interactions Among Students

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Relationships in the classroom are important, and interaction among students is particularly essential to the learning environment and student development. This lesson discusses ways of fostering positive interaction among students.

Why Are Positive Student Interactions Important?

Students spend a good portion of the day in classrooms. There they learn to read, write, and calculate math problems, but they're also learning another vital skill: developing relationships. Each day, students interact with their peers and others, including teachers, mentors, and community members.

While it's well-known that healthy teacher-student interactions are essential, it's arguably even more important to students and the learning experience that students treat each other with respect. Negative student interactions can cause negative feelings and impede a growing sense of self-worth, or self-esteem. If student interactions are poor, the classroom environment can feel chaotic, unpredictable, and unsafe.

On the other hand, positive student interactions foster feelings of safety. The classroom environment is predictable, and students readily support one another in personal and academic growth. Self-esteem can grow as students learn their strengths and help one another with struggles. The benefits of positive student interactions also go beyond the classroom--the communication skills students learn in the classroom will help them develop healthy relationships in the future.

Navigating these relationships may come easily for some students, but many need the support of their teachers. Cindy is a teacher skilled in promoting a positive environment in her classroom, and her students interact with respect and courtesy. She cultivates, or encourages, these interactions in several ways. Let's explore some of these ways below.

Setting a Positive Example

Cindy helps cultivate positive interactions among students by being a good role-model, a person who serves as an example that others should imitate. Cindy shows students how to treat one another through her actions. By being consistently positive in her interactions, she's setting the tone for her classroom environment, thereby establishing a pattern of trust and mutual support.

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