10 Ways Teachers Can Show Their Students They Care

Being a teacher isn’t just about academic progress. Besides that, teachers must show they care about their students and their needs. So, what are the best ways teachers can show they care?

Teachers can show they care about their students by getting to know them more personally. Teachers should also treat their students as responsible individuals they can trust and give agency to. Furthermore, teachers should plan engaging lessons for their students within a supportive and positive environment.

This article will detail how you can show your students you care about them. By following these tips, we guarantee that the student-teacher relationship will be stronger and everyone in the classroom will have a more pleasant experience.

1. Get To Know Your Students on a Personal Level

Teachers often see their students as a group of young people whom they are obligated to teach, but the truth is that they’re more than that. Your students lead their own lives filled with different situations, emotions, and thoughts. It’s easy to think that some students are too young to have real issues, but they too go through rough patches and need somebody to acknowledge that.

Therefore, elementary teachers need to support these young minds. And one way you can do that is by getting familiar (at least to some part) with their lives.

To get to know your students on a more personal level, you could:

  • Play icebreaker and get-to-know-you games
  • Ask them about their interests
  • Listen to them attentively
  • Share some of your own personal stories

At the start of every academic year, one of the first writing tasks that I set my students is to write a few sentences or paragraphs (depending on the age group you teach) about themselves. This is an excellent activity as the students are free to reveal as much or as little as they choose.

Here’s a useful YouTube video from Edutopia that discusses how you can get to know your students through writing and identity activities:

Apart from your students’ personal lives, they also have their own views about different issues. And most adults might not pay much attention to those views because they think they’re not as important.

However, students have just as interesting and valid opinions as we have, and teachers should remember that. Therefore, respecting your students’ views and listening to them with interest is another way to show you care about them.

Try to see the world as your students see it. In most cases, it’s a refreshing perspective worth considering. They can make you see things in a different light that’s often filled with innocence and imagination. All of this helps you get to know them better, which in turn shows your students that you care.

2. Learn Something Unique About Your Students

Building on the first point, showing somebody you care about them is best done when you memorize things about them, which is also true of your students.

Every student in your classroom has at least one thing unique about them, and that one thing is all you need to acknowledge as a teacher. Additionally, this is a great way to remember your students easier because you’re creating an association with individual students.

How To Learn Something Unique About Your Students?

There are different ways to learn something unique about each student.

First, you could have a segment of your class dedicated to getting to know each other. This is best done in the first few lessons when introducing yourself to your students. Similarly, they can share things about themselves with you and the rest of the class.

You could also achieve this with the help of games and activities.

The game “two truths and a lie” is a fun and effective way of getting to know at least two facts about each student. The key is how you model the activity. When explaining and demonstrating the game, I use unique and interesting facts about myself rather than standard information.

For example, instead of telling them where I’m from (which they will find out soon enough, anyway), I would tell them about a unique experience like skydiving or participating in a sports competition. That way, students are encouraged to think carefully about their three statements and make them as interesting as possible.

Another activity you can use, especially with younger students, is to ask them to draw things that are important to them on a page. This can include anything and everything – people, items, or even abstract concepts like “being a good friend.”

To add an extra layer of challenge and individuality, I instruct my students to have at least one drawing that does not feature on any other student’s page. This serves two purposes: the students inadvertently find out about their classmates by comparing and contrasting each drawing. And two, they have to think extra hard about what makes them unique.

Of course, you are bound to discover more interesting new facts about your students as the year progresses. As a teacher, you’ll likely spend much time talking with your students about different topics, and they’ll often relate lesson material to their own lives. When that happens, you need to memorize a few of those exciting facts or write them down.

And when the opportunity arises, you can use those pieces of information to show your students you care about them. For example, if one of your students likes football and supports a particular team, you can work that into a Math lesson by creating a word problem referencing the student’s favorite team.

Showing your students that you remember an important detail about them is a great way to make your students feel acknowledged and special.

3. Create a Supportive Environment in Your Classroom

Students spend a considerable amount of time in the classroom. And their experience at the school is often a reflection of the teacher.

If there are negative connotations attached to the classroom, students will hold the teacher responsible. For instance, if bullying occurs in class, all students – the victims, the perpetrators, the bystanders – would expect the teacher to do something about it. Failure to do so translates to “the teacher doesn’t care.”

On the other hand, a classroom that promotes respect, tolerance, and support is the ideal environment, not least because the students will realize your efforts and ability to create such a pleasant setting and appreciate you more for doing so. Ultimately, it shows that you care.

There are other advantages of creating a supportive classroom environment, including:

  • Students help each other more
  • There is more togetherness
  • Less behavioral issues
  • Students can communicate and participate more openly
  • It boosts academic performance

Therefore, it is paramount that teachers try to create a caring atmosphere where students feel welcome and valued. Here are some tips on how you can achieve this:

  • Address any form of bullying and disrespectful behavior
  • Promote and exercise good listening skills
  • Encourage all students to participate
  • Reward students for meeting expectations
  • Don’t criticize students, especially in front of others
  • Celebrate students’ achievements and effort
  • Be honest and open with your students (within reason)

4. Praise Your Students – But Not All the Time

Praise is an effective way of making students feel valued. It also highlights what you expect from them and encourages them to continue demonstrating those desired actions and traits.

It is a component in the creation of a supportive classroom environment, as discussed earlier, and contributes to increased learning and higher achievement.

Realizing the benefits of praise, many teachers use recognition or rewards for almost anything their students do. And while students certainly need to hear motivational words and receive rewards to drive them forward, doing so frequently can be counterproductive.

Paise creates a sense of achievement in us that releases endorphins and makes us feel great. But the problem with overpraising is that we will likely become desensitized to this feeling and lose that feel-good factor.

Even younger students will quickly understand that praising everything they do is hollow. And over time, your compliments will lose meaning and value and not be as effective in motivating students. Soon, those signs of caring become the opposite in your students’ eyes.   

Therefore, if you want to show your students that you care about them, make your praises and rewards genuine, and dish them out when students truly deserve it.

5. Show a Positive Attitude

Being a teacher is far from easy and comes with a considerable amount of stress. Teachers report feeling overworked and underpaid for the vital role they undertake. That’s why it is understandable seeing teachers feeling down, hopeless, and somewhat callous.

That being said, it’s hard to like a teacher who is often moody and monotonous in the classroom. If you are portraying a negative attitude, consciously or unconsciously, your students will likely mirror your mood.

Additionally, if you use confrontational language or raise your voice often, you can’t expect your students to enjoy or learn while being in your presence.

Therefore, as straightforward as it sounds, you must always show a positive attitude to your students.

It might be unfair to ask teachers to conceal their worries and troubles – we are also humans, at the end of the day – when the same is not often expected from those in other professions. However, in most cases, any dissatisfaction or poor morale you might be experiencing is not the fault of your students, so why punish them with a negative attitude?

By looking at the bigger picture and thinking more rationally, you will conclude that demonstrating a more positive attitude is in the best interest of you and the students.

To achieve this, consider these points:

  • Using positive language with students
  • Using positive body language, such as smiling and making eye contact
  • Using humor and promoting laughter
  • Listening to students
  • Avoiding sensitive topics like religion and politics
  • Interact with them and engage in positive conversation 
  • Incorporating enjoyable activities

6. Keep Your Promises

Your words and actions are a reflection of how honest and reliable you are, two traits that are held in high regard in all aspects of society, including the classroom.

Students learn a lot from their teachers, and not just academically. They pick up some of life’s most important lessons and are shaped socially, emotionally, and morally by their teachers.

Therefore, by not keeping your promises, you are failing to meet the high standards your students hold you to. It is only normal that your credibility lessens if you prove that you cannot deliver on your promises. Then, how are students supposed to trust and believe your words in the future?

Teachers may be under the impression that keeping your promise is trivial, and maybe they won’t see any bearings from two or three incidences. However, if disregarded, you will see a breakdown of the student-teacher relationship sooner than you think.

Furthermore, keeping your promise is not just about following through on a commitment and doing what you say you’ll do. It also conveys to others that you respect and value them enough to endeavor to stick to your word.

That is why keeping your promise is vital for showing your students that you care. You’re only as good as your word!

7. Trust Your Students

Another reason some students might question your level of care toward them is down to the trust you show.

Some students are particularly sensitive when it comes to trust, as it can give them a sense of pride. Therefore, showing your trust in your students is a good way to reaffirm your care for them.

An effective strategy is to give students additional responsibilities in class.

For example, ask them to lead a Q&A session related to the class’s learning. They can also make announcements or draw out students who hardly ever speak during class to ask questions or provide answers.

My favorite task to assign, however, is the role of teacher’s assistant, whose responsibility is to keep a close eye on the rest of the class to ensure everyone follows the expectations.

Apart from that, you can give them other tasks related to classroom management, such as:

  • Helping you with display boards
  • Helping you collect resources from the reprographics room
  • Collecting and distributing books

Even during group activities, you can assign personalized roles to each group member, making everyone feel special and important.

However young your students may be, there will still be ways you can rely upon them to fulfill additional responsibilities. This requires a level of trust, which your students know and crave, and essentially communicates the care you have for them.

8. Give Your Students Voice and Agency

What better way to cement your trust in your students than to give them ownership of their learning? This is often referred to as “Student Voice” or “Student Agency.”

Students are more engaged and motivated when their teacher takes their thoughts and ideas into consideration. So, student-directed learning not only empowers children but is also a strong indication that the teacher cares for them and their views.

For example, when starting a lesson, you can allow students to choose how they want to set up their desks or workstations. Being actively involved in this task will motivate them. Additionally, when giving assignments, let students choose from two or three variations of the project.

Offering choices on learning activities will also make the lessons fun and engaging. For example, you can break the monotony of a reading comprehension lesson by having a few options on how the learning will be demonstrated, e.g., they can create artwork, perform a drama piece, or record a vlog related to the reading.

Listening to and implementing your students’ opinions may seem unconventional, but have trust in the process. And don’t be afraid to hear what your students have to say about you – in most cases, it’ll be good things. Some schools even have evaluation forms that students fill out anonymously where they can write their opinions about classes and teachers.

I’d also suggest you thank them for their input and try to change your teaching style or practices in line with their feedback.

It’s a sign of a caring teacher to include students in the decision-making process, and your students will greatly appreciate and respect you for it.

Note: Although Student Agency and Voice are best used with older students, that is not to say the younger ones miss out.

9. Plan Fun and Engaging Activities

Student well-being is essential, and them being happy is often the result of a caring teacher. And a way of boosting student satisfaction is through fun and engaging activities.

Although every student differs from their peers and tends to learn differently, a teacher can often gauge how enjoyable a lesson is. If you are unsure, again, ask your students for feedback.

Once you identify the style, methods, and activities your students like, incorporate them more into your teaching.

There are some specific ways of learning that my students adore, so I try to utilize them as much as possible. For example, scavenger hunt activities are a firm favorite. Hide questions around the playground or school where students must locate them before answering. The idea is simple and works with any subject, so why not give it a try?

Teaching through play is also an excellent way to increase engagement and enjoyment.

Depending on the game, the students can participate using their hands, bodies, pencils and papers, or voices, just as long as they are having fun while learning.

If the class has access to technological devices such as laptops or tablets, take advantage of the numerous fun games that can be found online. Here are some tried and tested websites that my students adore:

  • Kahoot.com
  • Blooket.com
  • Gimkit.com
  • Prodigygame.com

A caring teacher should always strive to make learning fun.

10. Be There for Every Student Equally

There will always be some students who need more help than others, and naturally, teachers focus more on those students, thinking that independent learners will manage without them. However, even those students can feel left out. 

And it’s crucial that every student gets the same attention level because children hold fairness and equality very dear.

Don’t think that a student doesn’t require your attention or assistance just because they’re capable and hard-working. Make time to support all your students, even if they look like they’re doing fine.

It’s also essential that you include everyone equally in class discussions. Even if they don’t often raise their hands to ask or answer questions, find a way of getting their input.

One way to achieve this is by leaving the selection process to chance. Fortunately, there are many tools online to aid with this process. The Random Selector on Class Dojo would be my recommendation. All that is required from the teacher is to input the class list with everyone’s name and then click ‘random’ whenever you wish to call on a student in the class.

Additionally, talk to all your students about their interests, not just a select few. Students who feel excluded may lose self-confidence and start acting out to gain attention.

As teachers, we must show the same level of care for all our students. Any signs of favoritism or unequal treatment will not go down well with students.


Mr Mustafa

Thanks for reading the article - we hope that your teaching query has been answered with helpful information and insightful advice. Feel free to share this article with friends and let’s help the Teacher How community grow!

Recent Posts