Radically Reimagined Relationships: An Introduction

It’s no secret that positive, respectful relationships between teachers and students improve student engagement and achievement. Though this is true, we encourage educators and school communities to think about relationships in a broader and deeper way, one that engages administrators, teachers, other staff members, students, and their families in profoundly different kinds of interactions with one another. We call this Radically Reimagined Relationships.

When a school attends to this relational work, it creates fertile ground for the academic work of the school, which is manifest in more authentic learning experiences, safety for risk-taking, and more meaningful and just outcomes for students, staff, and families.

In schools that put Radically Reimagined Relationships at the center, we see evidence of these indicators:


Culture of Belonging and Well-Being: Young people and adults are valued and welcomed into a culture of empathy, belonging, and connection. The school community tends to the well-being of all members and is a safe place for individuals to share their identities.

Dispositions of Humility, Care, and Curiosity: Community members seek to know one another well. They bring humility, care, and genuine curiosity to the work.

Shared Purpose and Responsibility: Students, staff, and families create the community together. They work with a common purpose and share responsibility for the school and its members.


Agency and Trust: Regardless of age or position, all are trusted and seen as capable. Students, staff, and families have agency, real responsibility, and clear and meaningful roles in decision-making.


Commitment to Equity and Justice: Individually and collectively, the school community advocates for equity for all groups and justice for all individuals. The school recognizes the dignity of each person and their right to find challenge, joy, and purpose in their lives.

We invite you to Learn More by downloading our four-page overview.

intro image.jpg