Principal, Author, Professional Development Provider


Building Bridges

Engaging Students at Risk Through the Power of Relationships

Foreword by Robert Jackson

building bridges book cover

“In Building Bridges, author Don Parker delivers a powerful book on how to build meaningful relationships with students at risk of failing in school. As a seasoned and effective urban schoolteacher and principal, Parker understands firsthand why relationships, compassion, and empathy for students matter and are prerequisites to academic success. This book is a must-read for anyone working with students who are at risk but have the potential for greatness.”

Baruti Kafele, author, educational consultant, and retired principal

From the publisher:
Nurture positive student-teacher relationships to improve student engagement, behavior, and achievement for youth at risk. Research shows that discipline problems are one of the greatest challenges in education. In Building Bridges, author Don Parker shows educators how to address this issue head-on.

ISBN: 9781947604353
Publisher: Solution Tree
Page count: 200 pages

Purchase BUILDING BRIDGES through Amazon

Purchase BUILDING BRIDGES through Solution Tree

Building Positive Student-Teacher Relationships

Research shows that discipline problems are prevalent in public schools and continue to be one of the greatest challenges in education. In Building Bridges, author Don Parker shows educators how to address this issue head-on. He shares an array of evidence-based strategies to build teacher-student relationships and create a welcoming learning environment that fosters student engagement, motivation, and achievement.

Support students at risk by creating a positive school culture and building trust:

  • Consider the student behaviors, characteristics, and experiences that are typically barriers to success in school.
  • Learn how and why punitive punishments and zero-tolerance policies have failed to curb poor behavior in schools or provide adequate interventions for struggling students.
  • Understand the importance of teacher-student relationships in teaching students at risk and the ways in which trust and positive relationships improve student behavior.
  • Develop your ability to build positive teacher-student relationships through educational techniques, classroom management strategies, and teaching methods.
  • Study the research that supports the many academic and social benefits of positive teacher-student relationships when teaching students at risk.
  • Examine the ways in which school culture and climate affect the behavior of students and classroom engagement.


“Building Bridges to At-Risk Students,” MiddleWeb, August 2019 – LINK

More praise for BUILDING BRIDGES

Building Bridges is an insightful guide packed with information for educators, especially those who work with students at risk. Author Don Parker cites evidence-based research and offers practical strategies to help educators build and maintain strong teacher-student relationships.”

Rose M. Thomas, former administrative dean of students, Bremen School District 228, Illinois

“I love the format of Don Parker’s amazing book, Building Bridges. I am inspired by his own life story and his ability to draw the reader into the content. Parker’s research, self-reflection, and practical strategies to help build significant and effective relationships will provide powerful outcomes for readers and the students they serve. This book is a must-read for all professions working to make a difference in young people’s lives.”

Jim Sporleder, national trainer, Trauma-Informed Schools

Building Bridges is a practical, research-based pedagogy that captures the essence of necessary teacher-student interactions and transcends the realm of the classroom, while preparing students for college and career readiness that is the foundation for success in a global world.”

Patricia Welch, professional development specialist, Curriculum Associates