Capacity Building: Relationship Mapping

Fostering positive relationships with caring adults is critical for students’ academic, social, and emotional lives. Relationship mapping can be part of a school-wide SEL approach that bolsters student strength and capacity by intentionally aligning students with faculty and peers who are well-suited to support them.

Activity Objectives

This process is designed for faculty members to
  • Identify students who do (or do not) have positive and stable relationships with adults in the school.
  • Connect at least one adult in school to every student, and especially to students who do not currently have a positive and trusting relationship with an adult.
  • Identify supportive, well-aligned peers for each student as well, to help adults in the school support other positive relationships for students.
Key Question: How can faculty and staff work together to develop a climate that fosters meaningful connections among all students and school adults?


  • Create a student list (class, grade, etc.) with an additional column for “Faculty Match” and another for “Peer Match.”
  • Place a tick-mark ✅ or another symbol, like ⭐️ next to the name of any student with whom you have a positive, trusting relationship and whom you believe would come to you if they had a personal problem. Put your own name in the "Faculty Match" column for next to any students you aligned with.
  • Place a 🟠 or another shape or symbol, like ☎️ next to the name of any student you feel may benefit from a positive relationship with an adult. In the "Faculty Match" column, put your name next to the students you believe you could build a positive connection with, or write down a colleague’s name if you believe they would be a good match for that student.
  • After completing the faculty matching, fill out as best as possible the “Peer Match” column next to each name. This can be done based on your knowledge of existing student relationships; you can also identify a prior (older) student who might be a good fit for mentor-like support.

Here is an example of a populated Student Relationship Map: