The Teacher as a “Warm Demander”

Winner, winner, chicken dinner
Take an indulgent moment and stroll down memory lane. Were you lucky enough to have won the teacher lottery at least once? Twice? Never? What does one win in a teacher lottery you ask? Simply put, acquiring a winning ticket in the teacher lottery means being enrolled in a class led by a teacher who not only has a passion for their craft, but also creates an environment that respects each student, has high expectations for everyone, and ultimately engenders a community where all students feel valued and successful. Perhaps this teacher even inspired you to become a teacher, or perhaps if you were never a lottery winner, you were inspired to become a teacher who vowed to provide a better learning experience than you were afforded.

Checked in or out?
Although we are all tasked to deliver instruction to our students and all have instructional standards and state or district guidelines to adhere to, we generally have great latitude in with our classroom management approaches as well the tone we set in our classrooms.
Often, neophyte teachers (and not-so neophyte teachers) struggle with “keeping order” and with engaging students. Phrases like, “It’s just a tough class…they just don’t care…they’re not my sharpest bunch…they’re just disrespectful,” can be heard in the staff lounge during lunch breaks or whilst standing in line for the copy machine. Yet, one can also find (at that same school) a teacher who loved “that class” or “that kid” while others share that they, “Couldn’t wait for the last day of school, ” so that they can be “done” with that class. Why does this occur? One reason could be that some teachers are “warm demanders.” Kleinfeld stated that a warm demander is a teacher who, “…communicated personal warmth and used an instructional style(of)… ‘active demandingness.’” This meant that, “they insisted that students perform to a high level.”

Read all about it
Are you a warm demander? This 2008 article, The Teacher as Warm Demander by Elizabeth Bondy and Dorene D. Ross explains what a warm demander is and how one can become as a student once said in the book, I Make a Difference in Grand Prairie ISD, “She knew I was going to be somebody…I tell everyone she that she was the meanest teacher I ever had, but of all my teachers she was the one who cared the most!”

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