Guide to Tripod’s 7Cs Framework

Care

Teachers who care show concern for students’ emotional and academic well-being. They develop supportive, personalized relationships with students, cultivate an emotionally safe environment, and respond consistently to students’ social, emotional, and academic learning needs.

Message to Students:

“Your success and well-being matter to me in a serious way.”

Download 7Cs Guide

Sample Student Survey Items

(for different grade levels)


Indicators of an Exemplary Classroom

Teachers effectively demonstrate care through practices like these:

Building relationships

The teacher actively develops positive relationships with all students.

  • The teacher is courteous, respectful, and fair with all students.
  • The teacher shows sincere interest in students’ lives.
  • The teacher pays attention to students as individuals.

Addressing learning needs

The teacher commits to monitoring and responding to students learning needs.

  • The teacher maintains an intellectually and emotionally safe environment.
  • The teacher consistently provides assistance as needed.
  • The teacher fosters a culture that encourages students to seek and accept help.

Reflection Questions

Consider these questions as you reflect on your classroom practice:

  • What expectations and routines do you establish to create an intellectually and emotionally safe environment?
  • What type of language and tone do you use when…
    • Offering students encouragement?
    • Trying to help students improve their behavior?
    • Commenting on students’ work?
  • How often do you show interest in students’ extracurricular activities and lives outside school?
  • How do you incorporate opportunities for students to share their personal experiences, interests, and concerns?
  • How do you respond when students seem sad or upset?
  • How do you respond when students want to talk about issues they are facing unrelated to your class?
  • How do you customize support based on students’ specific learning needs?
  • How do you show sensitivity and express encouragement when a student seems frustrated or ready to give up?

Sample Strategies

Try implementing teaching strategies like these in your classroom:

  • Check in with students privately if they seem upset and kindly ask if something is bothering them.
  • Ask students to write you a “Dear Teacher” letter in which they share suggestions for helping them learn better.

  • Greet students personally when they walk into the classroom.
  • Test your assumptions about students’ motivations, especially when you perceive that a student is not trying or has intentionally done something wrong. Be careful not to assume that your critical perceptions of students are correct.


TEACHING RESOURCES

We’ve curated a set of teaching resources for Care. As you set goals and pursue professional learning opportunities, use these resource collections to access additional strategies, tools, and examples of effective practices in action.


Care: Building Relationships

Teachers who care show concern for students’ emotional and academic well-being. They develop supportive, personalized relationships with students, cultivate an emotionally safe environment, and respond consistently to students’ social, emotional, and academic learning needs. Find resources offering classroom strategies that support the practice of actively developing positive relationships with all students.

Acknowledgments / Cheers / Closings

www.originsonline.org/acknowledgments-cheers-closings#all This collection of activities offers a variety of ways to encourage positive communications and interactions among students, which can help to create a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone. The menu includes a variety of simple community-building activities designed to build positive classroom culture, which are easy to …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Relationships First: What to Do in Week One?

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept16/vol74/num01/What-to-Do-in-Week-One%C2%A2.aspx This article offers helpful suggestions for cultivating positive teacher-student relationships within the classroom during the first week of school and beyond. The writer describes the importance of recognizing each student as an individual and provides several useful strategies that can be implemented any time to create a climate where …
Read More

Responding to Defiance in the Moment | Responsive Classroom

www.responsiveclassroom.org/responding-defiance-moment This article addresses the intertwined nature of social, emotional, and academic well-being and identifies common underlying causes for defiant student behavior. It offers practical tips for de-escalating defiance in the classroom, avoiding power struggles, redirecting unproductive behavior, and minimizing distraction for other students. It explains the value of understanding …
Read More

Talking Circles: For Restorative Justice and Beyond | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

www.tolerance.org/blog/talking-circles-restorative-justice-and-beyond This teacher’s blog post explains how she uses Talking Circles in a variety of ways to build relationships, establish a safe and respectful learning environment, and check for understanding. She describes how she establishes norms and how she uses circles weekly in her advisory meeting and during her reading …
Read More

The Power of Positive Relationships

www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/ClassroomManagement/ClassDet/TabId/183/ArtMID/787/ArticleID/185/The-Power-of-Positive-Relationships.aspx This article offers general suggestions for building positive relationships with and among students and specific strategies for putting them into practice in the classroom. The list includes recommendations related to clarifying expectations, getting to know students individually, and holding their attention during instruction …
Read More

Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education: Classroom Culture

www.tolerance.org/publication/classroom-culture This resource describes teaching practices and strategies that promote a safe and respectful classroom culture in which all students can thrive. These practices include building positive relationships with students as well as establishing and reinforcing shared expectations for student behavior and interactions. Recommendations address the value of building community …
Read More

7 Tips for Building Positive Relationships with English-Language Learners

www.edutopia.org/blog/building-positive-relationships-ELL-larry-ferlazzo-katie-hull-sypnieski In this blog post, a teacher of English Language Learners (ELLs) recommends several tips for building positive, personalized relationships with students. He describes why learning about students\u2019 interests and background promotes engagement, and why he welcomes student input as part of the learning process. He offers a variety of …
Read More

Social Contract, Proactive Discipline Help Science Students and their Teacher

www.originsonline.org/newsletters/winter-2012-dd/social-contract-proactive-discipline-help-science-students-and-their In this article, a middle school science teacher explains her success in shifting from a reactive to a proactive approach to discipline and how establishing positive relationships can help to maintain a smoothly functioning classroom. Beginning the school year by surveying students about their learning needs and developing a …
Read More

Building a Positive, Trusting Classroom Environment

www.edutopia.org/blog/building-positive-trusting-classroom-jose-vilson This teacher blog post articulates the importance of cultivating an emotionally safe learning environment in the classroom. The author offers a few helpful strategies for developing supportive relationships with students, encouraging positive behavior, and responding to students in ways that take into account their social and emotional learning needs …
Read More

Tricks of the Trade: Classroom Management Tips for Teachers (Video Playlist)

www.edutopia.org/classroom-management-teacher-tips-video The first in this series of brief videos illustrating effective classroom management strategies features a teacher who connects personally with students as they enter his classroom with a handshake, a greeting, and a review question. This daily routine helps to foster orderly, respectful behavior, build relationships, and create a …
Read More

Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

www.edutopia.org/practice/stw-glenview-practice-dialogue-circles-video In this video, a teacher describes and demonstrates how she uses dialogue circles to cultivate an emotionally safe learning environment and respond to students\u2019 social and emotional needs in order to help them stay focused on achieving their full potential. The accompanying article suggests strategies for using circles to …
Read More

Helping Troubled Students, One Relationship at a Time

www.edutopia.org/article/helping-troubled-students-through-relationships-david-bulley This article explains the intertwined nature of social, emotional, and academic well-being and provides tips for developing supportive, personalized relationships with students in order to cultivate an emotionally and academically safe learning environment. The author grounds his suggestions in his experience working with students and colleagues, and he tells …
Read More

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

www.edutopia.org/practice/morning-meetings-creating-safe-space-learning This video and accompanying article explain and illustrate how morning meeting routines can help to create a safe environment for learning, including suggested structure and sample activities. Featured teachers demonstrate how they show concern for students’ emotional well-being and offer helpful tips to help build rapport in the classroom …
Read More

Why Restorative Practices Benefit All Students

www.edutopia.org/blog/why-restorative-practices-benefit-all-students-maurice-elias In this brief interview, a research scientist explains the negative impact of stress and punitive disciplinary measures on students and urges teachers to use preventive restorative practices with all students. The approach described helps to foster students’ self-management skills and build a greater sense of community in order to …
Read More

Creating Community All Day Long

www.originsonline.org/newsletters/winter-2009-dd-0/creating-community-all-day-long In this article, a teacher recommends several strategies for building relationships with students and inviting their input on classroom activities. She makes a good case for why investing time in developing positive relationships and building community promotes engagement and assists with classroom management, and she shares some practical strategies …
Read More

Building a Classroom Culture of Trust and Collaboration

eleducation.org/resources/building-a-classroom-culture-of-trust-and-collaboration This book excerpt identifies strategies for establishing a classroom culture where students feel intellectually and emotionally safe and view challenges and mistakes as opportunities for learning. It explains how building a safe learning environment is key to cultivating a growth mindset, which helps students persevere to meet learning challenges, …
Read More

Challenge at the Heart of Deeper Learning: Teaching Channel Deeper Learning Series

vimeo.com/100358675 This video shows a variety of strategies in action for challenging students to learn and do more than they think they can. Featured teachers encourage students to persist in the face of challenge, embrace learning struggles, explain their thinking, and push themselves and each other toward deeper learning. Educators …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Getting Personalization Right: Student Engagement: Key to Personalized Learning

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar17/vol74/num06/Student-Engagement@-Key-to-Personalized-Learning.aspx This insightful article provides an excellent overview of key elements of intrinsic motivation and explains what teachers can do to cultivate student engagement and agency. It includes strategies for designing learning experiences that promote autonomy, relatedness, competence, and relevance, which empower students to take ownership of their learning within …
Read More

Care: Addressing Learning Needs

Teachers who care show concern for students’ emotional and academic well-being. They develop supportive, personalized relationships with students, cultivate an emotionally safe environment, and respond consistently to students’ social, emotional, and academic learning needs. Find resources offering classroom strategies that support the practice of committing to monitoring and responding to students’ learning needs.

Emotions, Social Relationships, and the Brain: Implications for the Classroom

www.ascd.org/ascd_express/vol3/320_immordino-yang.aspx This article explains the intertwined nature of emotion and cognition and suggests ways to attend to the emotional aspects of learning in designing lessons. It addresses why, for example, focusing on test preparation without regard for students’ emotions and relationships is misguided. The author makes the case that teachers …
Read More

Dialogue Defibrillators: Jump-Start Classroom Discussions!

www.edutopia.org/blog/dialogue-defibrillators-jump-start-classroom-discussions-todd-finley This teacher blog post describes eight common reasons why students may not share their thoughts or explain their ideas in class discussions and offers tips for addressing them. These strategies can help teachers encourage students to contribute their unique voices to class discussions and promote dialogue that supports learning …
Read More

Learn to Listen/Listen to Learn – Developing Deeper Conversations

www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/learn-listen-listen-learn This classroom routine, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, promotes student discussion and helps to establish a climate of safety and respect. Students journal to clarify their own views about a controversial topic, then discuss their individual views in small groups, listening carefully to each …
Read More

Acknowledgments / Cheers / Closings

www.originsonline.org/acknowledgments-cheers-closings#all This collection of activities offers a variety of ways to encourage positive communications and interactions among students, which can help to create a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone. The menu includes a variety of simple community-building activities designed to build positive classroom culture, which are easy to …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Relationships First: What to Do in Week One?

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept16/vol74/num01/What-to-Do-in-Week-One%C2%A2.aspx This article offers helpful suggestions for cultivating positive teacher-student relationships within the classroom during the first week of school and beyond. The writer describes the importance of recognizing each student as an individual and provides several useful strategies that can be implemented any time to create a climate where …
Read More

Responding to Defiance in the Moment | Responsive Classroom

www.responsiveclassroom.org/responding-defiance-moment This article addresses the intertwined nature of social, emotional, and academic well-being and identifies common underlying causes for defiant student behavior. It offers practical tips for de-escalating defiance in the classroom, avoiding power struggles, redirecting unproductive behavior, and minimizing distraction for other students. It explains the value of understanding …
Read More

Talking Circles: For Restorative Justice and Beyond | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

www.tolerance.org/blog/talking-circles-restorative-justice-and-beyond This teacher’s blog post explains how she uses Talking Circles in a variety of ways to build relationships, establish a safe and respectful learning environment, and check for understanding. She describes how she establishes norms and how she uses circles weekly in her advisory meeting and during her reading …
Read More

Contracting

www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/contracting This article describes how to create a class contract in order to establish a classroom climate where students feel respected, valued, and emotionally safe when sharing their views and offering differing perspectives. It includes recommendations for engaging students productively and collaboratively in developing shared expectations for a “reflective classroom …
Read More

Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education: Classroom Culture

www.tolerance.org/publication/classroom-culture This resource describes teaching practices and strategies that promote a safe and respectful classroom culture in which all students can thrive. These practices include building positive relationships with students as well as establishing and reinforcing shared expectations for student behavior and interactions. Recommendations address the value of building community …
Read More

Social Contract, Proactive Discipline Help Science Students and their Teacher

www.originsonline.org/newsletters/winter-2012-dd/social-contract-proactive-discipline-help-science-students-and-their In this article, a middle school science teacher explains her success in shifting from a reactive to a proactive approach to discipline and how establishing positive relationships can help to maintain a smoothly functioning classroom. Beginning the school year by surveying students about their learning needs and developing a …
Read More

Building a Positive, Trusting Classroom Environment

www.edutopia.org/blog/building-positive-trusting-classroom-jose-vilson This teacher blog post articulates the importance of cultivating an emotionally safe learning environment in the classroom. The author offers a few helpful strategies for developing supportive relationships with students, encouraging positive behavior, and responding to students in ways that take into account their social and emotional learning needs …
Read More

Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

www.edutopia.org/practice/stw-glenview-practice-dialogue-circles-video In this video, a teacher describes and demonstrates how she uses dialogue circles to cultivate an emotionally safe learning environment and respond to students\u2019 social and emotional needs in order to help them stay focused on achieving their full potential. The accompanying article suggests strategies for using circles to …
Read More

The Science of Effective Learning Spaces

www.edutopia.org/article/science-of-effective-learning-spaces-melina-uncapher This article articulates several factors for teachers to consider when designing a learning environment in order to promote students’ well-being and academic success. It describes how physical conditions such as light, noise, temperature, and seating arrangements can have an impact on learning and offers suggestions for how to minimize …
Read More

Making Sure They Are Learning

www.edutopia.org/stw-assessment-authentic-reading-skills-teacher-video The teacher featured in this video describes how reflection on her own learning process prompted her to create formative assessments that break down specific skills, which she assesses on a continuum for each student. She regularly assesses students’ work and checks for understanding to inform her teaching. She groups …
Read More

UDL Guideline 2: Provide options for language, mathematical expressions, and symbols

www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1#principle1_g2 This well-organized guide to implementing principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) articulates why it’s important to explain new content in multiple ways and offers a variety of practical strategies, examples, and resources. For example, directly teaching key vocabulary or syntax, explaining ideas using a variety of media, and …
Read More

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

www.edutopia.org/practice/morning-meetings-creating-safe-space-learning This video and accompanying article explain and illustrate how morning meeting routines can help to create a safe environment for learning, including suggested structure and sample activities. Featured teachers demonstrate how they show concern for students’ emotional well-being and offer helpful tips to help build rapport in the classroom …
Read More

The Optimal Seating Plan? Letting Your Students Choose

www.edutopia.org/article/optimal-seating-plan-letting-your-students-choose-emelina-minero This video and accompanying article offer strategies for organizing the classroom in ways that optimize student engagement in learning. The featured teachers explain and model how they use flexible seating to meet a variety of student learning needs. Students use self-management skills and make responsible choices to create seating …
Read More

Why Restorative Practices Benefit All Students

www.edutopia.org/blog/why-restorative-practices-benefit-all-students-maurice-elias In this brief interview, a research scientist explains the negative impact of stress and punitive disciplinary measures on students and urges teachers to use preventive restorative practices with all students. The approach described helps to foster students’ self-management skills and build a greater sense of community in order to …
Read More

Is Your Classroom Organized for Learning? | Responsive Classroom

www.responsiveclassroom.org/is-your-classroom-organized-for-learning/ This article offers helpful suggestions for organizing classroom spaces to help students feel welcome and stay positively focused on learning. It provides useful questions and checklists to guide the design of classroom environments that accommodate a variety of learning activities and foster smooth transitions and productive learning conditions in …
Read More

Procedures for Classroom Talk

www.ascd.org/publications/books/108035/chapters/Procedures-for-Classroom-Talk.aspx This article explains the benefits of facilitating classroom discussion and offers a variety of strategies for ensuring that student conversation promotes learning, that everyone participates, and that student perspectives are respected. The authors discuss the importance of classroom talk for English language learners, and they provide practical tips for …
Read More

Adapting Curriculum to Learners’ Needs

eleducation.org/resources/adapting-curriculum-to-learners-needs The teacher featured in this video demonstrates how she differentiates instruction based on individual students’ learning needs so that everyone can engage in the lesson with confidence, feel supported and challenged, and achieve success. She models and explains how she personalizes instruction during a close reading lesson in ways …
Read More

UDL Guideline 7: Provide options for recruiting interest

www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle3#principle3_g7 This well-organized guide to implementing principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) explains why it’s important to personalize learning experiences and offers a variety of practical classroom strategies, examples, and resources. For example, providing choices and inviting input, highlighting relevance and value, and minimizing distractions can all contribute to …
Read More

Cracking the Behavior Code

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct12/vol70/num02/Cracking-the-Behavior-Code.aspx This article offers practical strategies for addressing the behavior of students who are oppositional, withdrawn, or anxious, sharing tools for uncovering the source of the behavior and responding productively. It articulates a useful framework for creating plans that address issues with disruptive students and includes specific strategies that work …
Read More

How to help every child fulfil their potential – RSA

www.thersa.org/discover/videos/rsa-animate/2015/how-to-help-every-child-fulfil-their-potential This animated speech by Carol Dweck explains the difference between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset” and the implications for teaching and learning. Dweck describes her research indicating that praising students\’ process rather than intelligence helps them take risks, meet challenges, and grow from those learning experiences. She …
Read More

The Biggest Lie Students Tell Me (and How to Turn It Around)

www.edutopia.org/blog/students-biggest-lie-resolving-it-jose-vilson This blog post explains how one teacher responds to students who say, “I can\’t.” He shares insights about why students may be resistant to making effort on learning tasks as well as strategies for engaging them, helping them believe in their own capacity, and pressing them to persist in …
Read More

Building a Classroom Culture of Trust and Collaboration

eleducation.org/resources/building-a-classroom-culture-of-trust-and-collaboration This book excerpt identifies strategies for establishing a classroom culture where students feel intellectually and emotionally safe and view challenges and mistakes as opportunities for learning. It explains how building a safe learning environment is key to cultivating a growth mindset, which helps students persevere to meet learning challenges, …
Read More

Challenge at the Heart of Deeper Learning: Teaching Channel Deeper Learning Series

vimeo.com/100358675 This video shows a variety of strategies in action for challenging students to learn and do more than they think they can. Featured teachers encourage students to persist in the face of challenge, embrace learning struggles, explain their thinking, and push themselves and each other toward deeper learning. Educators …
Read More

Personalized Learning: Enabling Student Voice and Choice Through Projects

www.edutopia.org/practice/personalized-learning-enabling-student-voice-and-choice-through-projects In this video, several teachers describe and demonstrate how they personalize learning and facilitate active engagement in their classrooms. The video and accompanying article offer useful strategies for designing engaging projects that cultivate curiosity and inquiry, promote interaction, provide choice as well as helpful structure and guidance, and offer …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Instruction That Sticks: Making Cooperative Learning Powerful

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct14/vol72/num02/Making-Cooperative-Learning-Powerful.aspx This article explains the value of cooperative learning and articulates techniques for making it work successfully. The author outlines helpful suggestions for designing lessons that set students up to work together effectively, and he provides practical strategies for ensuring that cooperative learning time is productive and that collaboration promotes …
Read More

5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

www.edutopia.org/blog/help-students-become-better-questioners-warren-berger This blog post offers suggestions for building a classroom culture in which students are encouraged to ask questions that stimulate thinking and promote learning. The author recommends establishing conditions that make it both safe and rewarding for students to ask questions, and he recommends a variety of activities to …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Getting Personalization Right: Student Engagement: Key to Personalized Learning

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar17/vol74/num06/Student-Engagement@-Key-to-Personalized-Learning.aspx This insightful article provides an excellent overview of key elements of intrinsic motivation and explains what teachers can do to cultivate student engagement and agency. It includes strategies for designing learning experiences that promote autonomy, relatedness, competence, and relevance, which empower students to take ownership of their learning within …
Read More

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