The following is a transcript from a video clip Ruby Payne did on creating relationships of mutual respect in school between adult and student. This clip is called, Forming Relationships (Find the Words)
Ruby: This is a vignette in which Oscar is the student and he’s always tardy to school. But this is a situation in which Oscar is a typical student in this way: He won’t talk to me. So we’re going to do the vignette two ways. One in which I just start out cold with Oscar, I have very little relationship with him, and then we’re going to do it again, I’m going to stop the camera, and we’ll talk about another way to approach this same situation.
Oscar, I’ve noticed you’re late a lot, and I want to know what‘s going on.
Oscar: I guess I don’t feel like talking about it.
Ruby: You’re not going to talk about it? Well, how can I help you if I don’t even know what’s going on? I need you to say something to me about this.
Oscar: There’s nothing you can do about it.
Ruby: There’s nothing I can do about it? Well, is there something you can do about it?
Ruby: [Chuckles] Okay, stop. You can continue like this with the student, and it can go on for a long time, but you won’t ever get anything out of the student. And with a student like Oscar, one of the things that’s critical in your ability to interact with them and teach them is to know about them and develop a relationship.
So, separate from the tardies, I’m going to get to know Oscar, and I have found out that he has a sister, he has a mother, he takes care of his sister sometimes, and he’s a freshman in high school, and every day when I see Oscar, I say, “Hi, Oscar. I’m glad you’re here.” And today I’m going to approach the tardies.
Oscar, I’m glad you’re here. Are you glad to be at school?
Ruby: Yeah. How’s your sister?
Oscar: Oh, she’s been sick.
Ruby: She’s been sick?
Ruby: Have you been staying home with her a little bit in the morning?
Oscar: Yeah, that’s why I’m always late.
Ruby: Oh, that’s why you’re late. Your mother get in late from work, or your mother’s taking care of others, or … ?
Ruby: Sometimes, okay. What can I do to help you get to school on time? Because I don’t want you to miss anything.
Oscar: You could talk to my mom.
Ruby: I could talk to your mom about it?
Ruby: All righty. How would be a good way for me to get ahold of her? Can I call her? Do you have a phone, or should I come by to see her?
Oscar: You can call her.
Ruby: I could call her. Would you have a number maybe I could get her at?
Oscar: I’ll give it to you later.
Ruby: You’ll give it to me later? All right. And can I give you my number so she can call me?
Oscar: All right.
Ruby: All righty. And then if I don’t hear from her, today’s Tuesday, maybe on Friday I’ll go by and see her.
Oscar: Okay, that’s good.
Ruby: That’d be good. Thanks, Oscar.
Oscar: Thank you.
Ruby: Now, to debrief this, Oscar’s never going to have a lot to say to me, but I need enough of a relationship with him that he’ll feel comfortable telling me the situation. Oscar, how did you feel the second time?
Oscar: Well, I don’t know….
Ruby: Did you feel like the teacher was more understanding, or … you could tell me the second time?
Oscar: I can’t say …
Ruby: [Laughter] All righty …