About the Author

Rachel Baker (MSW, LSW) is a licensed social worker, youth organizer and educational activist, who has worked in public, residential, and charter schools as an inclusive education teacher, social worker, and director of special education for over a decade. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from La Salle University and her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, with an emphasis on social justice and education equity. After receiving her MSW, she returned to the classroom to bridge her experience as an educator with her advocacy for the prioritization of social-emotional learning in redirection the school-to-prison pipeline and other adverse effects of punitive discipline policies for youth.


Rachel is the author of the book "The Empower Program K-2: Concrete Strategies for positive Behavioral Support" published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2016. She has instituted this program in both public and private elementary and middle school settings. She’s spoken at several national and local conferences including the NAEYC National Conference and Expo and the ASAH Annual Conference and provided professional development for schools and after-school programs. Her ultimate goal is to use The Empower Program to operationalize positive behavioral support and culturally responsive climate for all students in all schools, especially those in less equitable socio-economic settings.


Additionally, Rachel has worked with individual students and families as an outpatient therapist for the Child Guidance Resource Center in Philadelphia providing the same concrete social skills instruction and strategies through individual and family-based therapy. She has also worked for Montclair State University mentoring in-service teachers in the P-3 Alternate Route Teaching Program.

Rachel currently works as a full-time emotional support teacher at Mastery Molina Lower School in Camden, NJ.