Building Relationships in the Classroom

By Michael Arrington MS, MFT

Doctoral Candidate 

🎓💡 "No significant learning occurs without significant relationships." - James Comer. These powerful words highlight the fundamental importance of relationships in the classroom, particularly between teachers and students. Today, I want to delve deeper into this concept and explore how nurturing meaningful connections can enhance the learning experience.

As educators, we have the incredible opportunity to shape young minds and inspire lifelong learners. Building strong relationships with our students sets the stage for positive engagement, trust, and academic growth. When students feel seen, heard, and valued, they become more receptive to the knowledge we impart.

Creating a supportive and inclusive classroom environment starts with fostering genuine connections. By taking the time to understand each student's unique strengths, challenges, and aspirations, we can tailor our teaching approaches to meet their individual needs. This personalized approach acknowledges their identity, cultivates empathy, and encourages a sense of belonging.

When students feel connected to their teachers, they are more likely to actively participate, ask questions, and take risks in their learning journey. The power of relationship-building extends beyond academic progress—it impacts their social-emotional development, self-confidence, and overall well-being. By creating a safe space where students can express themselves authentically, we empower them to embrace their full potential.

Moreover, strong teacher-student relationships promote a collaborative learning environment. When students perceive their teachers as approachable mentors and allies, they are more inclined to seek guidance, collaborate with peers, and engage in meaningful discussions. This collaborative spirit fosters critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and prepares students for real-world challenges.

Let's remember that relationships in the classroom are not one-sided. As educators, we also benefit from these connections. We gain insights into our students' diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, enabling us to continuously improve our teaching methods and foster a more inclusive and culturally responsive learning environment.

So, let's prioritize building meaningful relationships with our students. By investing in these connections, we can create a transformative educational experience that goes beyond textbooks and tests. Together, let's inspire a love for learning and empower the leaders of tomorrow. #EducationMatters #TeacherStudentRelationships #TransformativeLearning #educationistransactional 


D.E.I. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Consulting

Michaels contributions have led to student successes. As of 2021 he has taken 112 high school students who lack of motivation, focus and credits to graduate, to incentivized and goal orientated students able to reach their academic potential. These 112 students are all set to graduate in the class of 2022. Eighty-one of the 112 students will be enrolled in community college and 4 directly to universities this fall. He also remains active in professional associations, frequently presenting research at the American Educational Research Association and the Critical Race Studies in Education Association. Michael also helped create a mental health unit for youth who were incarcerated in juvenile hall. This unit was designed to provide treatment to youth incarcerated that suffer from mental health issues, trauma, or suicidal ideations.