Students are keenly aware when teachers
genuinely care about their well-being and
their education. It is evidenced in the rigor
of the instruction, the way they are spoken
to, and by understanding the students’ cir-
Students come to school every day facing
myriad challenges that distract them from
learning. Relationships are strengthened
when teachers take the time to learn about
their students and the challenges they face.
Teachers become the protective factors to a
student’s risk of failure when they provide
support, understanding and strategies to
help students cope with their adverse con-
ditions. Furthermore, teachers become the
foundation of positive relationships when
they value the input, perceptions and experi-
ences the students bring to school each day.
Indeed, the most compelling protective fac-
tor in schools today is the supportive, caring
and committed relationships between stu-
dents and teachers.
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K.P. (2013). “Does capital at home matter
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Trenton Hansen, Ph.D. has served as a
teacher, principal, director and assistant
superintendent in urban school districts
throughout Southern California. He
has consulted for the Leadership and
Learning Center in curriculum design and
implementation for school improvement
and as an adjunct professor for National