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The “Establish-Maintain-Restore” framework for developing positive teacher-student relationships and an affirming classroom atmosphere was developed by in 2018 by Clayton Cook, a professor at the University of Minnesota.

As Youki Terada at Edutopia described it:

Relationship-building was broken down into three phases: the first meeting, maintenance throughout the school year, and points when a relationship may suffer damage, with useful strategies for each phase.

Obviously, many good teachers have been using this process for as long as schools have existed.

However, I think it provides a good reminder to all of us, and an excellent framework for professional development (not to mention as something for students in teacher education programs to learn).  And, in the past few years, a fair amount of high-quality research supporting it has been developed, which should be helpful in dealing with any “Don’t Smile Before Christmas” supporters.  It’s definitely receiving more and more attention.

I’m adding this post to two other “Best” lists:

The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students

Best Posts On Classroom Management

Here are some good resources about it:

New Meta-Analysis Highlight “Establish-Maintain-Restore” As Most Effective Teacher-Student Relationship Strategy is a post I wrote about it a couple of years ago.

The Key to Effective Classroom Management is from Edutopia.

Here’s a guide from The Association for Positive Behavior Support.

Another guide from The Mental Health Technology Transfer Network.

And one from the Minnesota Alliance For Youth.

Here are three studies about it. All are behind paywalls, but there are still ways to access them (see The Best Tools For Academic Research):

Cultivating positive teacher–student relationships: Preliminary evaluation of the establish–maintain–restore (EMR) method. (this is the original paper)

Meta-Analysis and Common Practice Elements of Universal Approaches to Improving Student-Teacher Relationships

Brief teacher training improves student behavior and student–teacher relationships in middle school.

These two videos aren’t that great, but they nevertheless provide overviews in a different format than text: