Management of Classroom Social Dynamics

When teachers actively take steps to manage social dynamics and promote positive interactions and friendships in class, students report feeling more connected to their peers,1 higher levels of school bonding (Gest et al., 2014), and a sense of belonging at school.2

Students reported feeling more connected to their peers and school when teachers:

  • were aware of friendship dynamics in the class (e.g., who is friends with whom).
  • could identify students who were being victimized or bullied by peers.
  • took steps to mitigate status extremes between students in class.
  • supported students who appeared isolated in class.1
Illustration of adolescents reading and learning

Management of Classroom Social Dynamics

These skills can help manage classroom social dynamics and support isolated or victimized students.

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  1. Gest SD, Madill RA, Zadzora KM, Miller AM, Rodkin PC. Teacher management of elementary classroom social dynamics: Associations with changes in student adjustment. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. 2014;22(2):107-118.
  2. Doumas DM, Midgett A. The effects of students’ perceptions of teachers’ antibullying behavior on bullying victimization: Is sense of school belonging a mediator? Journal of applied school psychology. 2019;35(1):37-51.
  3. Baroody AE, Rimm-Kaufman SE, Larsen RA, Curby TW. The link between responsive classroom training and student–teacher relationship quality in the fifth grade: A study of fidelity of implementation. School psychology review. 2014;43(1):69-85.
  4. Prothero A. How to build relationships with students during COVID-19. Published 2020. Accessed September, 2020.
  5. Schwartz S. Classroom routines must change. Here’s what teaching looks like under COVID-19. Published 2020. Accessed September, 2020.
  6. Minero E. 8 strategies to improve participation in your virtual classroom. Published 2020. Accessed September, 2020.
  7. Education World. The socially isolated student. Accessed September, 2020.
  8. Tucker GC. 7 ways the teacher can help your child make friends. Accessed September, 2020.
  9. Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak through PBIS. Published 2020. Accessed September, 2020.