Strategy: Charting Tool for Building Authentic Relationships

Check-Up Menu > Charting Tool for Building Authentic Relationships

Building authentic relationships with students and families requires a specific, measurable, realistic, and timely plan. This strategy provides you with an extensive menu of relationship-building activities to review. You will then use a charting tool to identify cultural characteristics about your students and to choose a specific relationship-building activity that you can implement with each student and their family.
This strategy provides you with a multitude of relationship-building activities that can be used with students and families. It is important to remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to building authentic relationships and the menu of options provided allows you to tailor your efforts to the individual student and/or family. After using this strategy, you will have a clear plan for how to deepen authentic relationships with your students.
How the Authentic Relationships Charting Tool Connects to CARES
Authentic relationships do not just happen. Educators need to be intentional in the strategies they use to deepen relationships with students and families. Spending the time to reflect on each student’s cultural background and choosing a specific relationship-building activity to use with each student lays the groundwork for deepening and maintaining authentic relationships with students. Using this strategy will help you to get to know more about your students both personally and academically, which will show them that you care about them and will result in greater connection to your classroom, more positive teacher-student interactions, and fewer behavioral concerns.
Some key elements for effectively using the charting tool:
1) There are many different ways to build authentic relationships. Review the strategies that we have provided and also reflect on strategies that you may have used in the past that either worked well or did not work at all. Our list is not exhaustive and you are welcome to use other strategies, but we invite you to try at least three strategies that are new to you.
2) Be honest with yourself as you complete the charting tool. If you realize that you do not know much or anything about one of your students, do not beat yourself up. Reflect on why that might be and set a goal to use at least one strategy to get to know that student better sooner rather than later.

How To

How to Use the Charting Tool for Building Authentic Relationships with Students and Families
1) Review the “Strategies to Build Authentic Relationships for Students and Families” document.

Fill out the charting tool for each student or for a select group of students who you would like to focus on deepening relationships with.

Note: It may be easier and more beneficial to start with focusing on a few students at once rather than the entire class. Consider possibly focusing on several different students after a specified amount of time to ensure that you have engaged in this process with each student.

2) Stick to the plan and implement the selected strategy for each student based on the start and finish date that you decide.
3) After implementing the strategy, reflect on how it worked and what you can do differently.

Strategy Tool

#1 – Strategies
Charting Tool - Strategy Tool 1
Use the Strategies to Build Authentic Relationships with Students and Families resource to identify strategies that you can use to deepen relationships.
#2 – Charting Tool
Charting Tool - Strategy Tool 2
Use the Charting Tool for Building Authentic Relationships with Students and Families strategy tool to help you make a plan for deepening relationships.


Concentration Areas: Connection to the Curriculum; Authentic Relationships; Reflective Thinking About Cultural, Racial/Ethnic, and Class Differences; Effective Communication; Sensitivity to Students’ Culture

What is CARES?

CARES is an acronym for the five domains that research has found to be successful in engaging students of culturally diverse backgrounds at school. Each letter refers to a significant element of interaction within the classroom. Applying all five domains of CARES works because it promotes a better understanding of students and ourselves by using strategies that deepen those relationships every day.

There is no single element that works independently of the others. All five CARES domains, together with the Positive Behavior Supports & Classroom Climate elements, support one another and need to be applied in the classroom to be successful.

Why is it important?

Research has shown that each of the five CARES domains has a significant impact on students and their behavior when used regularly and over time. Students who are known and understood by their teachers as individuals in the classroom report deeper connections academically and to their school. When teachers understand their own cultural heritage, they better understand the differences between themselves and their students and report higher levels of mutual respect with students. This also helps teachers to recognize the similarities they share with their students as well as recognize ways in which they are different. Students are more connected and engaged in classrooms where teachers welcome exploration; invite, acknowledge, and celebrate cultural differences; make relevant connections to the curriculum; listen attentively to understand how each student is approaching the concepts; and use humor and other effective communication tools.

CARES Overview

Greeting Students at the Door

Using Journals to Build Relationships

Identifying Reinforcers for the Classroom

Using Social and Emotional Coaching

Using Behavior-specific Praise

Using Active Supervision

Using Group Contingencies

Using Precorrection

Teaching Behavior Expectations

Providing Academic Feedback

Increasing Opportunities to Respond

Developing and Using Clear Academic Objectives

Posting and Using a Schedule

Coaching Process – Menu of Options

Coaching Process – Providing Feedback

Coaching Process – Introduction and Overview

Observation Practice 4

Observation Practice 3

Observation Practice 2

Observation Practice 1

Using an Attention Signal

Teaching Classroom Routines

Physical Classroom Structure

Values Card Sort – Example

Card Sort Introduction

Coaching – Interview Guide

Opening the Meeting

Defining and Teaching Classroom Rules

Mrs. James

Miss Faber

Positive Behavior Supports & Classroom Climate

Concentration Areas: Smooth Transitions, Pacing of Instruction, Student Engagement, Clear Expectations, Use of Praise, Use of Reprimands, Level of Disruptive Behavior

What is Positive Behavior Supports & Classroom Climate?

Positive Behavior Supports refers to the proactive ways that teachers work with their students, as well as the ways that teachers respond to challenging situations with students. The focus is on recognizing and affirming student strengths rather than punishing them or taking something away from them. A positive approach to the classroom will promote a classroom climate that is welcoming to all students and is a place where students want to engage with the teacher, each other, and the curriculum. All individuals, students and teachers, and the interactions between and amongst all classroom members play a role in the climate.

There is no single element that works independently of the others. All Positive Behavior Supports & Classroom Climate elements, together with the CARES domains, support one another and need to be applied to the classroom to be successful.

Why is it important?

In a classroom climate that is positive and welcoming to all members, the classroom becomes a safe place where culture and diversity can be openly discussed. A supportive climate is one that promotes student engagement and success. Students feel supported and motivated to be an active member of the classroom community. The teacher taking a positive and proactive approach creates a climate of care and respect and promotes desired student behaviors. This classroom is also a place that provides consistency to students, which is especially important for students who may experience stress and uncertainty outside of the school building. Teachers who have positive and proactive classrooms report fewer disruptive behaviors from their students, an increase in student achievement, and better overall perceptions of school climate.

Double Check Classroom Check-Up Overview