How to Foster Positive Relationships in School

Grade 1Lesson: 418

How to Foster Positive Relationships in School

Strong, healthy relationships in school are crucial for students because they foster a supportive and conducive learning environment. These relationships provide emotional stability, enhance self-concept, and create a sense of belonging. When students feel connected to their peers and teachers, they are more engaged in learning. Positive relationships also encourage collaboration, empathy, and the development of social skills, all of which are essential for success in the classroom and beyond.

The heart of this review lesson lies in treating others the way one likes to be treated, a fundamental principle taught throughout Positive Action’s Unit 4. As the day begins, each student is assigned a "Positive Pal," someone for whom they must carry out positive actions of friendship throughout the day. By taking responsibility for the happiness and well-being of their designated pal, students learn the art of putting themselves in others' shoes and understanding the impact of their actions on their peers' emotions.

"Fostering strong, positive relationships in schools is a fundamental aspect of holistic education."

Central to this classroom activity is reviewing eight positive actions for getting along with and respecting others. These actions, thoughtfully discussed throughout Unit 4, include sharing and cooperating, making thoughtful gestures, seeking out positive qualities in others, showing concern and offering assistance, being honest and fair, being kind and smiling at everybody, displaying courtesy and patience, and embracing a positive sense of humor. The structured nature of this SEL program allows students to internalize these principles gradually, ensuring that they become an integral part of their daily interactions in school.

At the end of the day, students are prompted to guess the identity of their Positive Pal. The thrill of discovery heightens their engagement and encourages them to pay closer attention to the positive actions practiced they observe throughout the day. During this reflection period, students note specific positive actions they witnessed their Positive Pal engaging in and ponder how these actions made them feel.

Grade 1 students have the option to maintain their Positive Pals as they continue their Positive Action journey, solidifying these friendships and allowing them to continue growing together. Through ongoing interactions, students can build a robust support system that promotes emotional well-being and personal development.

Fostering strong, positive relationships in schools is a fundamental aspect of holistic education. By introducing initiatives such as Positive Pals, educators allow students to practice empathy, kindness, and compassion in their daily lives. As students learn the art of treating others the way they like to be treated, they become more emotionally intelligent and socially adept. The school environment becomes a nurturing space where students can thrive academically and emotionally.

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