The Evidence Portal

Nurturing teacher-child relationships

Flexible activity

The activity of nurturing teacher-child relationships involves the teacher consciously building a trusting, warm and supportive relationship with students.

How can it be implemented?

This relationship can be implemented at any opportunity teachers have to interact with their students: in the classroom, playground, or when speaking to students one-on-one or in a group setting.

Who is the target group?

This flexible activity has two target groups: the students of the teachers; and the students’ teachers.

What programs conduct this activity?

Roots of Resilience: This professional development program trains teachers to identify microsocial moments in which they can engage in supportive “serve and return” interactions with students, creating a safe space for the students.

What else should I consider?

Consideration should be given to the sustainability of ongoing teacher-student relationship maintenance, including identifying “microsocial moments” with students in light of the busyness that characterises most classrooms. Children who do not readily engage with school or learning might not appreciate teachers’ attempts  to nurture a classroom relationship.

Further resources

  • Lipscomb, S. T., Hatfield, B., Goka-Dubose, E., Lewis, H. and Fisher, P. A. 2021. Impacts of Roots of Resilience professional development for early childhood teachers on Young children’s protective factors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 56, 1-14.
Last updated:

24 Feb 2023

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