Race Rothstein, Jacobsen, & Wilder (2008) agreed saying,

Race to the Top (RttT) initiatives have strongly focused on
measuring teacher effectiveness primarily using standardized test
scores. However, there is a large body of research that examines the
value of a teacher’s affective acumen when it comes to a teacher’s
effectiveness as an educator (Brophy, 1974; Baker, 1999; Crosnoe,
Johnson, & Elder, 2004; Grant & Rothenberg, 1986; Hamre, Pianta,
Burchinal, Field, Crouch, Downer, Howes, LaParo, Little, 2012;
Leder, 1987). An approach to accountability that includes a broader
range of measurement of effective classroom instructional practices
should include the relationships the teacher builds with her/his
students. Marzano (2003) studied the practices of effective teachers
and determined that “an effective teacher-student relationship may be
the keystone that allows the other aspects to work well” (p. 91).

The relationships that teachers develop with their students have
an important role in a student’s academic growth. Hallinan (2008)
writes “Learning is a process that involves cognitive and social
psychological dimensions, and both processes should be considered if
academic achievement is to be maximized” (p. 271).


The unbalanced reliance on test scores to determine success
does not provide an accurate accounting of all that goes into creating
an effective learning environment. Rothstein, Jacobsen, & Wilder
(2008) agreed saying, “it is surprising that so many education
policymakers have been seduced into thinking that simple quantitative
measures like test scores can be used to hold schools accountable for
achieving complex educational outcomes” (p. 27).

Meyer & Turner (2002) discussed their findings illustrating the
importance of students’ and teachers’ emotions during instructional
interactions. They determined that “through studying student-teacher
interactions, our conceptualization of what constitutes motivation to
learn increasingly has involved emotions as essential to learning and
teaching” (p.107). Their results provide support for further study of
the inclusion of interpersonal relationships in the instructional setting
and to what degree those relationships affect the students’ learning
environment. The quality of the relationship between a student and the
teacher will result in a greater degree of learning in the classroom
according to Downey (2008).

Mohrman, Tenkasi, & Mohrman, (2003) assert “lasting change

does not result from plans, blueprints, and events, rather change occurs


through interaction of participants” (p. 321). Strong teacher-student
relationships may be one of the most important environmental factors
in changing a child’s educational path (Baker, 2006). This case study
will explore the environmental factors that are deliberately created by
the study participant as she interacts with the student on their
educational path. As Cazden (2001) asserts, the establishment of
social relationships can seriously impact effective teaching and
accurate evaluation in a classroom.