The Five Love Languages for Teachers
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The Five Love Languages for Teachers

The Five Love Languages for Teachers

I came across “The Five Love Languages” book by Gary Chapman in the library of the private elementary school where I was teaching in 2005. It reminded me of my feelings as a teacher after Sept. 11, 2001, when we were awakened to the changing world, to what matters, and to what students needed to know more about. 

Chapman explains how people express and understand love through five languages:

  • Quality time
  • Acts of service
  • Words of affirmation
  • Physical touch
  • Receiving gifts

Awareness of the five love languages can help teachers better connect with their students. Here how:

Quality time

A student with quality time as his or her love language may instead be found in timeout. Unfortunately, behaviors that are efforts to spend time with the teacher or classmates may manifest when this need isn’t met at home.

Suggestion for teachers:

Relating to kids who crave quality time is not easy, especially if your class has more than 15 students.

  • If in person, invite the student to your desk before you begin reading groups. Look at his or her journal. Ask him or her to tell you about it. This can help the student feel connected with you and result in less disruption. If teaching virtually, schedule a one-on-one meeting.

Acts of service

A student with this love language may be the helper you have dreamed of! Unfortunately, these students may come across as annoying to classmates because of the desire to assist at all times.


  • Let them help! Even create classroom helper badges.

Words of affirmation

A student with this love language may cry if they receive a paper with negative feedback and not one positive word. The great thing is that you have multiple ways to send encouragement to these students. 


  • Write a few positive words in their journal, on graded papers or tests. Send emails to parents/guardians with positive observations about their child and make sure the student sees it by having parents and students initial.

Physical touch

A student with this love language has a need to hug or hold hands with friends and likes a nice “good job” pat on the back. However, this love language will be off limits during the pandemic.


  • Use the beginning of video meetings to focus on interpersonal connection through an eye-connection-without-words icebreaker or even a quick chair stretch. This can be done in the classroom, as well.

Receiving gifts

A student with this love language will leave you a small token gift on your desk unexpectedly such as a drawing, rock or flower. 


  • Create a treasure box and fill it with fun treats that can be donated by Partners in Education and parents.

Curious to what your love language is? Take the free online quiz:

In the November magazine, I’ll write about the five love languages for those in the military.

Video: Lori address the importance of education in leadership on The Leadership Void Podcast


Lori Marie Huertas, a local bilingual family therapist with military family specialization, is sharing a series of articles with readers to explore how the five love languages  — acts of service, quality time, physical touch, gifts and words of affirmation — impact teachers, military families, husbands and wives,  the workplace and children.


Read more articles in our digital magazine.


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