Building Strong Virtual Relationships with Students and Parents

Building Strong Virtual Relationships with Students and Parents

How do you plan to tackle creating strong relationships with students and parents this school year?

“Students and parents don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” -Kendrick Johnson

Educators know that building and maintaining positive relationships with students and parents or guardians is crucial to a successful school year—and the first few weeks are critical for that strong relationship building. But what will school even look like in the fall? How can teachers build meaningful relationships if class is online or a blended learning environment?

SDE consultants, LeAnn Nickelsen and Kendrick Johnson, understand these challenges and have the expertise and ideas to help schools and districts tackle these challenges to help make the start of the school year a success.

Kendrick Johnson on Parent Engagement and SEL

Kendrick Video-1

In this video, Kendrick talks about how important parent engagement and communication is heading into this school year as well as social-emotional learning and the importance of humor in the classroom.

LeAnn Nickelsen on Student Relationships

LeAnn Video-1

In this video, LeAnn talks about the importance of positive, trusting relationships, especially this school year. She shares the three important layers to building strong relationships.

Make Professional Development a Priority

Kendrick, LeAnn, and the rest of our SDE consultants have been helping schools and districts prepare for the challenges of this coming school year and are here to support you. Contact our Educational Partnerships team for more information and your free professional development needs analysis. Call 877-388-2054 or email


Meet Kendrick and LeAnn

Kendrick HeadshotKendrick Johnson

Kendrick is an education consultant who began his career as a high school English teacher and mentor in Chicago’s first turnaround high school. He later became a curriculum and instructional coach before transitioning into the role of Site Director for the Chicago Teacher Residency (CTR) Program, where he founded, managed, and directed two teacher training sites. Kendrick’s areas of expertise include behavior/classroom management, data-driven instruction, and culturally relevant and responsive teaching.

LeAnn HeadshotLeAnn Nickelsen

LeAnn is a master teacher and coach who has enjoyed a 25-year career in education. LeAnn presents and coaches on closing gaps in high-poverty schools, engagement, differentiation, and literacy strategies that raise thinking and achievement. She has written more than 14 books, including her most recent Teaching with the Instructional Cha-Chas: 4 Steps to Make Learning Stick. She also co-authored with Dr. Eric Jensen Deeper Learning: 7 Powerful Strategies for In-Depth and Longer Lasting Learning and Bringing the Common Core to Life.