Positive Relationships

Students seek to establish and maintain healthy, positive, mutually gratifying personal relationships with their teachers, classmates, and others as a source of support, comfort, companionship, and intellectual stimulation. 

  • Students demonstrate a willingness to alter their attitudes and conduct when necessary to reduce or prevent disharmony, generate respect and trust, and increase intimacy (provided such changes do not require them to compromise their values or integrity). 
  • Students understand that meaningful and lasting friendships often require unselfishness, patience, understanding, acceptance, and loyalty. 
Key Beliefs:

I will be a better student if I act on the following beliefs:

  • Know what a positive relationship looks like. 
  • Recognize what others need from me and when I need to help others.
  • Use fictional characters or celebrities to analyze positive and negative relationships. 
  • Role-play scenarios that help establish healthy boundaries for relationships. 
  • Use examples from literature and celebrity media to explain and illustrate the difference between supportive relationships and destructive ones. Help students define the essential qualities of a positive relationship.
  • “I need to listen well so that I hear what is not said.” – Thuli Madonsela
  • “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” – Buddha
  • “Good words are worth much and cost little.” George Herbert
  • “Every time we allow someone to move us with anger, we teach them to be angry.” – Barry Neil Kaufman
  • “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ­ Ralph G. Nichols
  • “You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing.” E.B. White
  • “If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more.” – Taylor Swift
  • “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” – Audrey Hepburn
  • “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey
  • “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James
  • “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carl W. Buechner

Benefits of Relationships

We have relationships with many people. We have relationships with our parents, siblings, extended family members, and even our friends at home and at school. Having relationships with other people is important because these connections with other people can make us feel good about ourselves. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/589b341e2994ca99ff6cee2d/t/5a47fe49ec212ddd08cd7a89/1514667600188/peer_relationships_1+%281%29.pdf

Build positive relationships among students by doing the following:

  • Have peers interview each other on specific topics
  • Have peers share personal objects, ideas, or other relevant information
  • Teachers can use the information on relationships to demonstrate math concepts, etc (How many students like to play soccer?  Is that more or less than the number who like ice cream?)
  • Student matches-students can be assigned to find peers who have a particular characteristic and then get their signature.  An example is attached.  Teachers can modify this by including pictures for younger children and substituting appropriate content for older students (I have a job, etc.).
  • Guess who?  Students write down a fact about themselves, then give it to the teacher and students have to guess who it is.  This can also be called what is special about me or unique facts about me.
  • Fact and fiction.  Students write one or two statements that are true about themselves and one that is false.  Students guess, which is false.  This could be adapted and called True or False.

Brain Science Says: Four Reasons to Build Positive Relationships With Students

Positive student relationships are fundamental to success. When students feel supported in your classroom, they are more likely to engage in learning and have better academic outcomes. Plus, when students have positive interactions with teachers, they have fewer behavioral problems. Neuroscience can help us understand what’s happening in students’ brains when they feel safe and understood in the classroom.