How To Create Powerful Student-Teacher Relationships

Dr. Ruby K. Payne (2003) in A Framework for Understanding Poverty claims, “The key to achievement for students from poverty is in creating relationships with them.” I live and work in Merced County, California, one of the most economically depressed areas of the nation, where the average per capita income in 2011 was $28, 497 vs. the national average of $41,560 (Sbranti, 2012). I see this poverty played out daily in the 81.5% of our students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches (CDE, 2012). When I enter a classroom, I am smiling at students of poverty—for whom relationships are always critical.

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