School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Tracey Pritchard


Positive Student-Teacher Relationships, Behavioral Management, Classroom Management, Evidence-based Practice, Instructional Management


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore how secondary school teachers develop positive relationships with students and the resulting impact of these relationships on classroom management in South Carolina public secondary schools. An extensive review of the literature was conducted which included the topics of classroom management and teacher training. This study was based on a qualitative research design, combined with Glasser’s theoretical framework to add more extensive information to the current body of research on classroom management components, design, and impact. Secondary students possess a human desire to belong and feel connected in the world; therefore, this desire drives their actions to meet these personal needs. This study explored the results of teachers acknowledging student needs, getting to know their students in a positive manner, and focusing on relationships as part of their classroom management. For this qualitative phenomenological study, data was collected and analyzed from individual interviews, focus group discussions, and participant questionnaires. This research study revealed that adding positive student-teacher relationships as a critical component of class management was a more effective means to establishing a safe learning environment and providing improved opportunities for academic achievement. This research study also showed that the impact of positive student-teacher relationships is cyclical in nature. Teacher attitude and effort in initiating the positive relationship with students directly correlates to student attitude and effort as related to behavior and academics.