5 Ways To Build Relationships With Your Students

5 Ways To Build Relationships With Your Students

Forging strong connections with students holds immense potential to create a lasting impact. By actively engaging and cultivating these relationships, teachers can foster a sense of value and respect among their students. Through genuine concern for their well-being and unwavering belief in their capabilities, you can facilitate transformative experiences.

Developing positive teacher-student relationships contributes to better academic performance, increased cooperation, and the growth of positive social behavior. Furthermore, these interpersonal connections significantly influence students’ inclination to remain actively involved in their academic pursuits and successfully attain their educational goals.

While you need to establish connections with all students, focusing on those who may be more challenging to connect with becomes especially vital. These students often experience significant advantages from a caring teacher-student relationship.

These are five strategies to help you forge stronger connections with your students:

#1 Cultivate Mutual Trust

Mutual trust is the cornerstone of any relationship, and as a teacher, you usually need to take the initiative to establish it with your students. Consider the following approaches to nurture trust:

  • Share aspects of your personal life, offering students a glimpse into your world outside of school. This can help them see you as a genuine person and feel valued because of your openness.
  • Provide students with opportunities to make choices, whether related to assignments, demonstrating specific skills, setting class rules, and more.
5 Ways To Build Relationships With Your Students
  • Inquire about the challenges and hardships students face and actively assist them in finding solutions. Offer individualized support, connect them with necessary resources such as free school lunches or tutoring services, and establish connections with counselors and social workers.
  • Advocate for your students, consistently acting in their best interests. This may involve attending disciplinary meetings to show support or collaborating with fellow educators on interventions like restorative justice circles.

#2 Teach With Enthusiasm 

You must remember that you greatly influence the students with the energy and excitement you bring to the classroom. One effective way to get your students engaged and enthusiastic about a lesson is by displaying genuine excitement yourself. They won’t be motivated to give it a fair chance if they sense that you lack enthusiasm when discussing a certain subject. Admittedly, it can be challenging to maintain enthusiasm, especially when external factors impact your work. However, as a teacher, striving to ignite your students’ passion for learning consistently is essential. Ultimately, their enthusiasm will lead to better retention of your teaching information.

#3 Make Learning Fun by Introducing Engaging Activities and Games

Indeed, students acquire knowledge through listening to their teachers, but there are numerous strategies to capture their interest and attention. If you were to attempt to find someone willing to listen to you speak for hours without any engagement, you would undoubtedly face failure. This is where you can use games and enjoyable activities to make the learning process entertaining, causing students to forget that they are actually learning. You can use Educational Technology (EdTech) tools, like classroom monitoring, such as Blocksi, to engage the whole class in one or more shared online activities.

5 Ways To Build Relationships With Your Students

These games and activities do not necessarily need to be directly tied to the lesson at hand. Even a simple game that students find enjoyable can stimulate dopamine release, significantly impacting memory and motivation.

#4 Foster Empathy Through Understanding

Teaching empathy is often emphasized, but it is equally important for you to put yourself in your students’ shoes. By gaining a deeper understanding of their experiences, you can address underlying issues and challenging behaviors more effectively. When working with a student, consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • How does the student experience the classroom?
  • How frequently does the student receive positive or negative feedback?
  • Does the student believe that you genuinely care about them?
  • How do you think the student perceives their relationship with you?
  • What external factors influence the student’s behavior and actions?

By doing this, you can get a feeling of what the students may be experiencing. Additionally, explicitly asking students about their likes and dislikes regarding the class, teachers, and the school environment helps identify common ground to build relationships based on mutual respect and trust.

#5 Set Achievable Goals

It is natural for every teacher to desire success for their students in every aspect. However, it’s important to be realistic and recognize that achieving success in everything may not be feasible. If you set achievable goals and realistic expectations, you can assist your students in their studies by preventing them from perceiving it as an unconquerable challenge. 

5 Ways To Build Relationships With Your Students

Another approach is introducing a challenge that you know your students will be able to conquer or solve quickly, which can significantly boost their confidence. This is particularly crucial for students who are struggling in a specific subject. But beware –  exercise caution and avoid patronizing them by explicitly stating that you have intentionally simplified the task for them.

So, Why and How Can Teachers Build Relationships With Students?

Establishing strong connections between teachers and students is essential and greatly affects both parties involved. However, this is not always the easiest. It requires dedicated effort and perseverance to develop meaningful relationships with each student, as they are unique individuals who need to be understood. Once you form these connections, they can greatly influence the classroom environment and contribute to the academic achievements of the students.


[1] The Importance of Student Choice Across All Grade Levels

[2] Building positive relationships with students: What brain science says