People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Bridging Teacher-Student Relationships

Presentation Resources:

Social Networking Sites

HOT Blogging Article

In order to establish an on-line conversation about the effectiveness of these strategies for you, I have created a blog. Please visit it and share before you begin using the strategies, and also after you have been using them for awhile. Besides blogging, I also have a few poll questions on the site to which you may be interested in responding. Please click on the link below.

Bridging Teacher-Student Relationships Blog
Student Survey:
Student Interest Survey

Additional Resources and Research Base:
Teachers possess a natural feeling that they want to serve first.

Because of nationwide teacher shortages in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders and comparatively low wages with other professions, teachers of troubled children and youth are people attracted to their vocation primarily out of a need to serve (Herman & Marlowe, 2005).

Characteristics of the Servant Leader:
  • Listening
  • Empathy
  • Healing
  • Persuasion
  • Awareness
  • Warm Demander
  • Foresight
  • Conceptualization
  • Commitment to the growth of people
  • Stewardship
  • Building community
(Herman & Marlowe, 2005) and (Ware, 2009).

A universal maxim to guide us in measuring our service:
“Do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”
Tip: Create a mission statement for your classroom using this maxim as a guide. Make your mission statement into a poster and post it in your classroom. Refer to it when you need to remember your mission.

Maslow's basic human needs that drive behavior:
  • Physiological – sunlight, water, and food
  • Safety – security within the environment
  • Love - belonging
  • Esteem – strength, respect, and achievement
These basic needs drive human behavior. When these needs are met, the result is a feeling of completeness or wholeness in an individual (Herman & Marlowe, 2005).

Tasks universal to moral development:
  • Caring
  • Autonomy
  • Truthfulness
  • Fairness

Universals in a caring community:
  • Caring for the child
  • Empathizing with and considering the child’s feelings
  • Having understanding for the child
(Herman & Marlowe, 2005).

What caring looks like:
Aesthetic care- emphasized students’ adherence to school policies and a visible investment in grades and academic achievement
Teachers show care by praising their students for passing tests, coming to school everyday, and obeying school rules. (Schiller, 2009).
Aesthetic care- “shapes and sustains a subtractive logic which results in a process of cultural and linguistic eradication since the curriculum students are asked to value and support is one that dismisses or derogates their language, culture, and community.”

Authentic care- emphasized relationship-building between teacher and student
Teachers care about students’ academic achievement, but they also care about who they are, and want to learn about their communities and families.
Builds a community of trust between students, communities, and families.

Aesthetic Care vs. Authentic Care
Aesthetic Care
  • Students do well in their academic classes.
  • Students obey school rules
  • Teachers praise their students for adhering to school rules, and doing well in their classes.
Authentic Care
  • Reciprocal relationships exist between students and
  • Teachers learn about their students' families and
  • communities
  • Community of trust built between teachers, students, and families.

Activities in a Caring Community:
  • Morning discussion
  • Closing activities
  • Classroom meetings
  • Peer tutoring
  • Movement experiences
  • Imagination activities
  • Painting
  • Skits and plays
  • Cooking
  • Caring for plants and animals
  • Field trips
(Herman & Marlowe, 2005).

Teachers in a Caring Community:
  • Make caring the expectation.
  • Create zero-tolerance of put-downs.
  • Make cruel actions unacceptable.
  • Know your student’s names.
  • Acknowledge your students.
  • Insist that everyone listens to the person who is talking.
  • Ask another student to repeat a student’s comment instead of doing it yourself.
  • Become an advocate for your students.
(Herman & Marlowe, 2005) and (Heckendorn, 2006).

Once you get to know your students and establish those relationships:
Knowing more about students’ habits allows the teacher to differentiate independent reading and to meet everyone’s needs. (Kelly & Clausen-Grace, 2009).

Timeline-Research Base

Using, I created a timeline to show the historical development of my topic of caring and building teacher-student relationships. This website could easily be used by students when they need to create a timeline, flipchart, or listing of events in chronological order.


These are most of the articles I gathered on this topic. They offer strategies from and descriptions of teachers who use the ethic of caring in their classroom. This was a "hot" topic, so there are multiple articles here for your use.

A Teacher's Perception of Care
A Caring Teacher-Explorations Into Primary School Teachers
Building on the 3 Rs of Professionalism
Caring and theTeaching of English
Connecting Caring and Action Through Responsive Teaching
Creating Environments of Success and Resilience-Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
Developing a Caring Ethic for Middle School MathClassrooms
Facilitating Engagement by Differentiating Independent Reading
Handle With Care-Integrating Caring Content in Math & Science Methods Classes
Middle School Perceptions of Caring
Moral Education in an Age of Globalization
Teaching Lit. as an Ethic of Care
Telling Their Side of the Story-A Students Perceptions of Effective Teachers
These Are Our Children-An Examples of Relationship Building Practices in Urban High Schools
Warm Demander Pedagogy

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