Hugging Porcupines: How to Build Relationships with Challenging Students

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We’ve all heard about the value or relationships, and we’re believers. So how do we build and cultivate those all-important relationships…with some of our most challenging students? What do we do when the very kids who most need positive relationships seem to resist our efforts at relationship-building? Is there anything we can do?

You bet there is!

In this course for K-12 educators, you’ll join Mike Anderson, an award-winning teacher, a best-selling author, and an award-winning consultant, on a journey that explores this challenging topic. You’ll hear stories, both successes and challenges, from his own teaching. You’ll gain practical strategies you can try right away. You will also gain access to many powerful and practical resources to help you as you deepen your thinking and implement strategies.

Warning! Before you register for this course, it’s important to understand that this isn’t a gimmicky get-results-fast with “tricks and tips” kind of course. You’re not going to be encouraged to use sticker charts and incentive plans to “motivate” tough students. (In fact, you’ll be discouraged to use strategies like this!) You already know that quick-fixes won’t work. This course is about tried-and-true practices that will slowly, steadily, and surely, help you gain the trust and mutual respect needed for lasting positive relationships to develop between you and your students. As a bonus, these same strategies will work for all of your students, not just the most challenging!

You should also know, before you go any further, that this isn’t a course with quizzes, tests, required writing assignments, or other accountability measures. This course is about learning for the sake of supporting our students. You should do as much or as little of this as you need in order to better support your toughest kids. That being said, it will probably take about 3-6 hours to complete.

* If you are a school/district leader and are interested in learning more about this course or are interested in discussing a group discount, email Mike Anderson at

Course Features

  • Lectures 39
  • Quizzes 0
  • Skill level All levels
  • Language English
  • Students 4
  • Certificate Yes
  • Assessments Yes
Mike Anderson has been an educator for more than 25 years. A public school teacher for 15 years, he has also taught preschool, coached school swim teams, and taught university graduate level classes. He now works as a consultant providing professional learning for teachers throughout the US and beyond. In 2004, Mike was awarded a national Milken Educator Award, and in 2005 he was a finalist for NH Teacher of the Year. In 2020, he was awarded the Outstanding Educational Leader Award by NHASCD for his work as a consultant. A best-selling author, Mike has written eight books about great teaching and learning. When not working, Mike can be found hanging with his family, tending his perennial gardens, and searching for new running routes around his home in Durham, NH.


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