Journal of Educational Research and Practice




Children’s relationships with their teachers are a potential resource for enhancing developmental and academic outcomes. The effects of positive or negative teacher–child relationships can be either beneficial or detrimental to students’ academic progress, behaviors, and emotions. In the current study, we utilized a qualitative research design to examine 18 pre-kindergarten to fourth-grade teachers’ perceptions of teacher–child relationships, student behavior, and classroom management. Analysis of in-depth interviews yielded five major themes: (a) beliefs in children, (b) teaching strategies, (c) acknowledging individual differences, (d) challenges, and (e) relationships. Findings of this study have the potential to inform in-service training regarding relationship-building skills and attending to children’s social-emotional development. We discuss the limitations of the study, implications for professional school counselors, and recommendations for future research.