Saturday, July 27, 2019

I Am A Warm Demander: Caring and High Expectations Are Not Exclusive

If you listen to the late Rita Pierson's TED talk, you have a perfect example of the term, "Warm Demander". 

As I was perusing the latest Edutopia articles, the title  "The Necessity of Having High Expectations" caught my eye. We, in the education field seem to have moved away from this mindset. The mindset of holding our students accountable, expecting the best, their best, from them.

We have led ourselves to believe that because our students are dealing with trauma, living in poverty, or any of the myriad of issues that they have to deal with, we should lower our expectations for them. If anything, as mentioned in the article, we should do the exact opposite, but in a caring, empathetic, manner.

I had never heard the term "Warm Demander" although this term seems to have been around for years.  When I read the definition, I knew it was a description of how I see myself as an educator.

This Warm Demander T chart  places educators in 4 categories, The Warm Demander, The Technocrat, The Sentimentalist, and The Elitist. And while it is not perfect, each category sums up educators I am sure we have all witnessed, some because of their deliberate actions, and some because they believe they are doing what is best for their students.

We can be better for our students. We have to make sure, that no matter what our students' circumstances, we meet their needs, but at the same time, hold them accountable and let them be successful without lowering our expectations.

 It is possible to do both. Be a Warm Demander. 

Warm Defender T-Chart Credit: "Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain" 

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