Student/Teacher Relationships



Lesson Plan Development



Burnout & 








Student/Teacher Relationships: Six Activities

Education is built on relationships.  The relationship between you and your students is delicate, complex, and organic. Because of this, it is particularly important for you to seek feedback in order to monitor and adjust your interpersonal teaching behaviors.  You should continually ask yourself basic questions concerning your professional teacher/student connections:

  • Does your interaction with students support an orderly and disciplined classroom?

  • Do you inspire creative thought and the desire to learn?

  • Do you model quality?

  • Do you display clear and meaningful core values?

  • Do you bring out the best in your students?

  • Do your relationships energize others?


  • To improve interpersonal skills

  • To strengthen teacher/student communication

  • To isolate interpersonal strengths and weaknesses

Activity One: Reflections   Write a short answer or response to the following questions and statements. Note: You may want to probe these questions with your mentor or a discussion group.

  1. How do your students characterize you as a teacher?

  2. Identify your weakest and your most productive skills when interacting with students?

  3. Does your perception of yourself as a teacher match the perception that most students have of your teaching? In other words, do your students see in you the same teaching strengths/weaknesses that you see in yourself?

  4. How do you gather accurate feedback concerning your relationships with students?

Activity Two: Student Discussion Group. Establish a panel of student volunteers who are willing to discuss questions concerning teacher/student relationships. Ask the following questions (adjusted for the age group)

  1. What should every teacher know about working with students?

  2. What do you like about your favorite teachers?

  3. What behaviors do you dislike in some teachers?

  4. What is the ideal relationship between teachers and students?

  5. Are there some things teachers do that actually stir up student misbehavior?

  6. How should a professional teacher act?

Activity Three: Teacher Interviews.  Interview several other teachers who are willing to respond to the following:

  1. Identify three interpersonal skills that are essential for teachers to promote productive student learning?

  2. Identify three “tips” that teachers can do to promote healthy teacher/student relationships.

  3. Identify three “don’ts” of teacher/student relationships

  4. From the responses, write down three to five “lessons” that you learned.

Activity Four: Self-Assessment.  When working with students, how do you assess your strength on each of the interpersonal skills listed below? Use the following assessment scale: 1=weak behavior, 2=somewhat weak, 3=average, 4=somewhat strong, 5=very strong.

5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1

Good listener

5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1

Sincere (No game-playing)

5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1


5  4  3  2  1

Even handed (No favoritism)




Activity Five: Video Appraisal. Set up a video camera in your classroom and record your interaction with students.  Video tape yourself connecting with students in a variety of situations: lecturing, small groups, one-on-one, informal contact, as students are leaving the room, etc.  After reviewing the tapes, respond to the statements below:

  1. List three adjectives to describe your interaction style.

  2. Consider how you could strengthen your interaction skills.

  3. Observe the students closely.  How are they responding to you?  Are they bored?  Enthusiastic? Attentive?  Detached? Etc.

  4. Do you interact like the teachers that you liked the best in school yourself?

  5. Do you model professionalism?

  6. How would you characterize your body language and gestures?

Activity Six: Observations.  Observe three to five teachers interacting with students.  Select teachers who you believe use different interaction “styles.” Characterize each teacher by completing the chart below.


Style Adjectives
















Professional Development Activities (Select a category listed below)






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