This Is How to Build Relationships With Your Students

This Is How to Build Relationships With Your Students

Developing strong relationships with students is one of the most important teaching skills. Seeing how much time students spend in school and how teachers represent important adult roles, it is only logical that teacher-student relationships set the learning tone. All of us probably remember the teachers who affected us the most. And much more than the content they taught us, we mostly remember how they made us feel. The way they treated us and how we felt in their class is usually what we recall the most. So, now that the roles have reversed, it is essential to ask yourself: how do I build relationships with my students?

Research has proven that various aspects of student-teacher relationships affect student learning and motivation. A study by Wubbels and Brekelmans (2005) also showed that high-degree teacher influence and proximity toward students could improve student outcomes. And these are only a few of the papers proving the importance of building relationships with students.

This Is How to Build Relationships With Your Students

Building relationships with students is essential for creating a positive and effective learning environment. Students are more likely to engage in learning, feel supported, and achieve academic success when they feel linked to their professors. To get some ideas on how to develop relationships with your students, check out the following advice:

#1 Actively Listen to Your Students and Ask Questions

Talking to your students is the easiest way of getting to know them. Talk to them, ask questions, express genuine interest, and above all—listen to what they tell you. Asking them questions about their interests and experiences will show them you care about their lives outside the classroom. Listen actively and respond thoughtfully. By showing interest, you can build meaningful connections with your students. Being genuine can be fruitful even with the ones who are otherwise quieter or hard to reach.

#2 Be Approachable and Open to Feedback

Ensure your students know they can turn to you with any problem they might have. Letting them know you are there and will receive them with open arms establishes a safe and supportive environment. It is crucial they perceive the classroom as a place of no judgment. And you, as a teacher, must set the tone for that. 

Ask the students to give you regular feedback on their perception of being a part of the class. Let them know they can trust you and that their well-being is in your best interest. You can do this by encouraging 1-on-1 time and giving them your full attention.

This Is How to Build Relationships With Your Students

#3 Develop a Classroom Culture Based on Respect and Kindness

Create a classroom culture that values respect and kindness. Let the students know they are valued and respected. And very importantly – make no difference between them. Expect the best from each of them and motivate them toward success. When the students are encouraged and feel like a part of the community, they are more likely to engage in learning and co-create a positive environment.

#4 Include Fun and Engaging Activities and Use Classroom Monitoring Tools for Support

Another way of answering the question, “How to build relationships with your students?” is by organizing fun and engaging activities. Incorporating them into the curriculum can help you build teacher-student relationships and even relationships between students. Pick school relationship building activities that will foster your connections, such as team-building activities and ice-breakers. You can organize interactive activities because making learning fun is easier with the help of classroom monitoring tools. And engaging students can bring learning closer to young minds with the help of technology.

#5 Stay on Top of Students’ Progress

One aspect of knowing and understanding students is identifying their progress. Use classroom monitoring tools to stay on top of their learning and provide individualized support when needed. This will help you foster relationships and assist students with their academic success.

Creating a Positive Classroom Environment Will Benefit All

To conclude, building positive teacher-student relationships can be beneficial on so many levels. Besides improving students’ academic success, it can benefit their social skills and teach them valuable lessons for life. Don’t forget to bring your heart into the teaching and let the students know that besides being a teacher, you are also a person who cares about their hobbies and interests. They will recognize if you are truly invested in their best interest and help you build a beautiful classroom community where you all can flourish.


[1] The teacher‐student relationship as an interpersonal relationship

[2] Wubbels, T., & Brekelmans, M. (2005). Two decades of research on teacher–student relationships in class. International journal of educational research, 43(1-2), 6-24.

[3] How to Build Relationships With Students in 2023 and Support an Effective Learning Environment