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Positive Teacher-Child Interactions

“Research indicates the ways teachers interact with children is crucial in determining how children develop over time.” (Curby and Brock, 2013)

Every time an early childhood teacher and a child interact it is an opportunity to build a positive relationship. A child that feels connected to their teacher will view the classroom as a safe learning environment. A child who has negative interactions with their teacher will view the classroom as an unsafe learning environment.

Some things we know from research about positive teacher-child relationships:

They help children develop secure relationships with other adults.

They help children develop good peer relationships.

They influence a child’s social and emotional development.

They reduce the frequency of behavior problems.

They help children develop positive self-esteem.

Some simple but effective ways to nurture relationships:

Nonverbal gestures such as a warm smile, a wave hello, or a reassuring touch

Greet each child at the door by name

Use a calm tone of voice and body language that welcomes the child

Recognize children’s temperaments as well as their likes and dislikes

Have back and forth conversations with children about things that interest them

Acknowledge a child’s effort

Tell the child how much he or she was missed when the child misses a day

Read a child’s favorite book to the whole class


Curby, T. W. & Brock, L.L. (2013). Teachers’ Emotional Consistency Matters for Preschool

Children. Retrieved from:


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