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Young people come to know who they are and who they want to become in large part through their relationships with others. They crave affiliation and aggressively seek it.

They look for people, places, and circumstances that fulfill them. They seek to join learning communities and communities of practice in and out of school. Since their teachers are significant persons in their lives, students crave a relationship with them as mentors and coaches. Schools often fail to exploit the power of this drive. Indeed, at this critical juncture in a young person’s development, schools typically step away from their students.



Example Questions

Do my teachers and others who might serve as my teachers know about me and my interests and talents?

Do my teachers help me form relationships with adults and peers who might serve as models, mentors, and coaches concerning my career interests?

Do my teachers help me build relationships in the school community and in out-of-school communities?

Do you know my child’s interests and talents?

Does the school help students form relationships with adults and peers who might serve as models, mentors, and coaches concerning their career interests?

Does the school help students build relationships in the school community and in out-of-school communities?

Do I know about my students’ interests and talents?

Do I help them form relationships with adults and peers who might serve as models, mentors, and coaches concerning their career interests?

Do I help build relationships in the school community and in out-of-school communities for my students?