A Warm Demander
As each coach arrived, one-by-by, they thanked me for sharing the articles with them - one in particular, called The Teacher as a Warm Demander (the reference is listed at the bottom of this post if you are interested). I was pleasantly surprised and let out a sigh of relief as it made my job as facilitator a lot easier. As I mentioned earlier, I had not done something like this before with them - and they can be a tough group. :)
The main idea behind the article is: how can teachers create an engaging classroom and convince students that they care, while at the same time never letting up (Bondy and Ross, 2008). A warm demander is defined as someone who "communicates both warmth and a nonnegotiable demand for student effort and mutual respect" (Bondy and Ross, p.2, 2008). The authors contend that teachers should believe in a individual's capacity to succeed regardless of what students might say or do by exhibiting three actions: (1) building relationships deliberately, (2) learning more about students cultures, and (3) communicating an expectation of success (Rogers, 1957 as cited in Bondy and Ross, 2008). I specifically selected the article based on (1) my personal experience and teaching philosophy; and (2) comments made by educators I've worked with recently and in the past.
Several people would probably describe me as a warm demander. In fact, a week ago, I ran into a former student at my old campus. Actually, this gentleman officially was never in my class, I just tutored him during our Saturday TAKS camps (TAKS was the old state exam in Texas). He told me something that made my day and I just had to post it on my Facebook page:
Ran into a former student today. He told me that I always had high expectations and could tell I believe in my students. He also mentioned that I would always say, "You could do better, you could do better" to push students. He is aspiring to become a teacher and wanted to thank me. Made my day! :)
When I read the article, I was immediately reminded of his comment and comments made by former students. I am a warm demander. Students know I believe in them and that they can be successful. I knew many of my students came from low-income backgrounds or from other external factors that I had no control over; however, from the start of my career, I realized that I do have control over what occurred in my classroom. By providing learning supports, supporting positive behavior, and being clear and consistent with my expectations (Bondy and Ross, 2008), I was able to establish an environment and culture where my students recognized that they were important enough to be pushed beyond their normal expectations.
Bondy, E. & Ross, D. D. (2008). The teacher as a warm demander. Educational
Leadership: The positive classroom, 66(1), pp.54-58