Learners have positive relationships with peers and adults who act as role models and provide learners with emotional support when needed so that learners feel seen, heard, safe, and known.


Two people with a heart in the middle

Engage in positive relationships with peers

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Clear evidence of the five core builders of developmental relationships: expressing care, challenging growth, providing support, sharing power, expanding possibilities.

  • Offer or receive unsolicited help from a peer on a task or situation in the learning environment

Questions to Ask Learners

  • Who among your classmates do you go to when you need help?

  • How do they help you when you go to them?

  • Do you often try to share your thinking or tasks with peers?

A hand gripping a help sign

Seek help from peer and adult role models for academic and emotional support

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Go to adults, without hesitation, for questions and support

Questions to Ask Learners

  • If you need help for something academic, which adult do you go to?

  • If you need help for something personal, who do you go to?

  • How do they help you when you go to them?

Hello written in thought bubble with a flower

Feel seen, heard, safe, and known

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Willing to leave their comfort zone and take risks

  • Seem relatively at ease in their learning environments

Questions to Ask Learners

  • How do you feel when you’re in this learning environment?

  • What’s something hard that you recently tried to do in this learning environment? How did it feel to try it?

  • Is there ever something you want to say, ask, or discuss but that you choose not to? If yes, why?

  • Do you feel like your learning facilitator sees you, understands you, and knows you?

Triad of people

Have high levels of closeness with adults

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • When the learner goes through an important life event (e.g., is cast in a part for a school play), they ask their learning facilitator to share their experience

Questions to Ask Learners

  • When something important happens to you, is there an adult at school you would want to tell?

  • If you are going through something emotionally in life, would you go to your learning facilitator? If not, who would you go to?


Feelings of connectedness increase the ability of a learner to retain new knowledge and skills while also supporting the development of a learner’s identity. Relationships with adults and peers model the mindsets and behaviors needed to be a part of a community. Another positive benefit is that these relationships allow for increased mental well-being, buffering learners from stressors.


When learning facilitators connect with learners by showing compassion, warmth, respect, and trust, learners benefit academically and socially.

Educator Actions

Learning facilitators build positive relationships with learners.

CSTPs: 1.1, 2.1, 2.6, 5.7, 6.4

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Create consistent ways to use all learners’ names every day and build connections between learners. For TK-5 content level learners, this can be done at the Guided Reading table. For 6-12 content level learners, this can be part of daily goal-setting process or structured partner and group tasks.


  • Use language that is positive and demonstrates faith in learners (P/F)

  • Acknowledge important individual learner accomplishments and milestones (P/F)

  • Hold high expectations* for all learners (P/F)

  • Know every learner’s name and what their goals and interests are (P/F)

  • Share what you know about learners’ skills/knowledge and show that you have tailored their learning experiences accordingly (P/F)

  • Greet learners by name (F)

  • Respond with an appropriate level of compassion when learners experience stress (F)

  • Facilitate learning between learners, in addition to learning between learners and adults (P/F)

  • Use common language to help learners understand and connect with the vision of the school (F)

*Keep in mind any trends with sub-groups to actively mitigate against any implicit biases
P = planned F = facilitated spontaneously