skip to Main Content

Teaching Content AND Building Relationships

“Morning meeting time to build relationships? When they’re already asking us to teach
more content than students can master? What a joke,” the middle school math teacher told me.

Content and relationships do seem like competing priorities, don’t they? After all, time spent on one means less time for the other. This teacher isn’t alone in thinking “It’s either content or relationships. There isn’t time for both.”However, what if they’re actually interdependent? What if more gets done during time on task because students are willing to work harder when teachers take the time to build relationships?

John Hattie (2012) researched the effect size of different teaching strategies and interventions. Effect size studies quantitatively answer the question, “So how big an effect did this really have?”, with .4 being a year’s growth). He found:

  • Effect size of teacher-student relationships: .72
  • Effect size of time on task: .38

You already know that simply putting students in learning situations for longer periods of time doesn’t necessarily boost academic performance. And you know that relationships are important. But there’s only so many minutes in the school day. How do you allocate your time?

Learn more at Learning Forward Minnesota on May 4

Learning how to handle such dilemmas will be the practical takeaway from Unleashing the Positive Power of Differences, my Friday, May 4 2018 workshop for Learning Forward Minnesota. You’ll learn to

Recognize when things aren’t competing but interdependent. Individual and team. Whole language and phonics. Top down and bottom up. Standardization and customization. How many issues can you add to the list?

Facilitate deep conversations that lead to turning arguments and pendulum swings into plans that result in getting the best of both.

We’ll dig into the core tools of my Corwin book of the same name, included with registration, and you’ll have the chance to apply your learning to your own situation. Bring your team and make progress on a real issue. And, we’ll have fun. See you on May 4!


Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Related Posts

Does Your Vision Need a Reality Check?

Getting Unstuck In Education Debates

Jane Kise is a consultant and executive coach. The founder of Differentiated Coaching Associates and author of over 20 books, she works with schools and businesses worldwide to help create environments where everyone can flourish.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: