Thursday, September 23, 2010

Teachers Need to be Warm Demanders

Relationships form the foundation of every classroom. In fact, caring relationships are at the very heart of the matter for student achievement.

Even though almost all teachers enter the teaching profession because they care about children, a large number of students, especially low-achieving students, feel "no one cares." What can teachers do to show they care?

Being a "warm demander" as described by Judith Kleinfield and later by James Vasquez characterizes the kind of caring that is effective, especially for ethnically diverse students. Warm demanders are committed, respectful, dedicated, and competent educators who are not afraid, resentful, or hostile towards their students. They provide a tough-minded, no-nonsense, structured, and disciplined classroom that creates a supportive psychological environment that scaffolds student engagement and achievement and exhibits a strong belief in their students' strengths and capabilities. These warm demanders display a "purpose of insistence" which means that they insist that the students meet established academic and behavioral standards. Because they have the attitude that not only can all their students learn but that they must learn they never give up on a child.

By establishing this type of caring relationship with their students warm demanders convince their students that they believe in them and that they have their best interests at heart.

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