The Ready for Rigor Framework and Teacher-Student Relationship Building
Building successful teacher-student relationships or learning partnerships is the bedrock of Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT). According to Zaretta Hammond, CRT is a theory or methodology that combines neuroscience and rigorous culturally responsive teaching through instructional conversations, teacher feedback, affirmation, and validation (2015). To facilitate CRT, Hammond provides a framework (Ready for Rigor Framework) that incorporates teacher awareness, learning partnerships, information processing, and a community of learners and learning environment. Hammond’s seminal work supports my study’s focus on the importance of teacher-student relationships through building successful learning partnerships. The learning partnerships practice area includes the following elements: reducing student stress; giving both care and push; cultivating a growth mindset and self-efficacy; student ownership of learning; and using academic language to express students’ learning progression (Hammond, Jackson, 2015). According to CRT’s tenets, all teachers must build rapport and trust with students, especially historically marginalized students. Although forming learning partnerships is essential to moving students towards deeper learning, there is no step-by-step method or guide to help teachers form and sustain invaluable connections with their students. The Along reflection tool I utilized as the basis for my study provided my high school's teachers the structures, process, and time to build connections and rapport with students successfully.