Whether or not students feel cared for by teachers, and the overall quality of student-teacher relationships, can have profound effects on their engagement and investment in learning.
Introduction to Teacher Caring
An introduction to motivating learning conditions from PERTS.
An introduction to the learning condition Teacher Caring.
Chapter 1: Get to Know Your Students As People
Getting to know your students is the first step in fostering meaningful student-teacher relationships
Strategies that help teachers get to know their students
This toolkit provides strategies, inspiration, and tools for authentically connecting with your students
A list of short strategies for remembering students' names and ideas for icebreakers
A well-planned first day can establish a positive tone for the rest of the school year
Short, easy steps teachers can take to build rapport by encouraging camaraderie, and using specific verbal and non-verbal cues.
A middle school in Nevada uses a simple strategy to build deeper connections between teachers and students
A teacher explains the importance of morning meetings and makes suggestions regarding the format
Three ice-breakers that engage the students without being cheesy or forcing them to take social risks.
This video shows how a professor engages all the students on a personal level in a large course by using student surveys and name tents
Two videos discuss different strategies for building connection with students in the classroom⏤getting to know students' names, talking to students before class, and using student surveys
A high-school teacher shares how she structures the first day of class (which is only 10 minutes) to make sure she connects with students and gets them to set goals for the year
Chapter 2: Make Students Feel Heard
Ensuring that all students have a voice and feel like their opinions are valued is essential for an equitable learning environment
Strategies that help teachers make students feel like they have a voice and their opinions are valued
This toolkit provides strategies, inspiration, and tools for making sure that students feel heard
Student surveys allow teachers to get to know the students, and the students to voice their opinions and share their interests.
A high school teacher uses the stoplight method after class to gauge what students learned, what they had questions/concerns about, and anything that got in the way of their learning
Soliciting authentic student feedback sends the message that students have a voice and that their opinions are valued
A middle school teacher encourages her student groups to learn from each other and support each other to make sure that everyone gets a voice
A printable student interest survey which asks how students feel about school, their interests outside of school, and ways in which the teacher can best help them learn
This article talks about how to ask questions that encourage active learning and strategies that facilitate student discussions
This video goes over what wait-time is, the rationale behind it, how to effectively use it, and what happens when you increase wait time in class
This video showcases a classroom where the teacher asks open-ended questions and models wait-time
Chapter 3: Address Disciplinary Problems with Empathy
Adopting an empathic discipline style can help teachers build more welcoming and caring learning environments
Strategies that help teachers respond to disciplinary issues with empathy and understanding
Educators share stories about how they changed their mindset or behavior and used empathic discipline to help support their students' emotional needs.
This article discusses how teacher mindset can influence the interpretation of a student's behavior, and gives some concrete steps on how to respond in ways that highlight a growth mindset
This article lays out strategies for making sure that students are making good choices and conducting themselves as members of a learning community
A subsection under "Social and Emotional Learning," this article describes the benefits of warmly welcoming a student back into the classroom.
Chapter 4: Use Language That Reflects Caring, Respect, and a Growth Mindset
Your everyday language can send subtle signals to students; make sure that you use language that is respectful, caring, and reflects a growth mindset
This article shares easy to implement ideas for using positive teacher language
This video discusses the structures, protocols, modeling, and guidance that builds students' collaboration and discussion skills
A subsection under "Positive Teacher Language," this article provides concrete ways in which teachers can use language to optimize learning and engagement
This video shows a teacher using positive, growth-mindset language in order dispel myths about STEM careers and encourage students to explore STEM fields
A teacher reflects on her own journey while trying to change the language she uses in class to be more positive and encouraging
Resources that encourage growth mindset language and behaviors