This is to misunderstand what a relationship is. A relationship is not one way. Children can choose what relationship they have with the teacher or the subject and they are perfectly capable of choosing to have a poor relationship regardless of everything the teacher does to make the lesson engaging. We do not have complete control over what other people think of us. Sometimes people are prejudiced against (would you tell a black person that if they acted a different way then the BNP would like them?). Sometimes people just have a personality clash. It is simply not good enough to treat behaviour as a manifestation of a relationship rather than a deliberate choice and a good relationship as something teachers will always be able to build. I might add that for a lot of kids they will have a better relationship with a teacher if they are not challenged to work hard or behave well. Are we meant to sacrifice expectations for everybody in order to build relationships with those kids? ***. Kids act up for great teachers every day. Given the choice between a lousy teacher they've known for years, who is senior in the school and known for being strict and a brilliant teacher with inspirational lessons who has just turned up and probably won't know how to use the school's discipline system, then they will behave worse for the latter rather than the former every time. The idea that lesson quality determines behaviour is the big lie of behaviour management. Expectations determine behaviour, and expectations are set to a large extent by historical factors. You are wrong about self-esteem, but it is beside the point. If kids feel entitled to misbehave when they feel like it, then there will be misbehaviour. You can't change human nature so that nobody ever wants to do wrong, and you can't change the nature of learning so that it is never hard work, requiring of attention or unsettling. Teachers who get good behaviour by keeping kids in a perpetually good mood have invariably either ceased to teach, or are only teaching children with a generally good disposition. Absolute ****. I've known well established members of SMT who gave kids exam papers to do in silence for lesson after lesson. They still behaved becuase they knew they'd be punished if they didn't.