I am known as: “the hard one, a lot of work but fair, and you’ll learn a lot”. Some students deliberately select my class. Some don’t. All are given the lay of the land on the first day- exactly what is expected of them as deliverables and “The Rules”.
This baptism results in some students not returning- other times, they request overrides, but clearly, they know what they are in for and that I mean business.
What’s interesting, is that after I set all of these expectations, I ask what they expect of me in exchange. They stare in disbelief- not realizing that my presence is sponsored by their tuition dollar so, in theory- I work for them. It will take them a few minutes to realize I mean it and then we agree to no death by power point, interesting discussion and that’s about it. They really do not demand a lot. Yet they are very gracious at the end for the journey we take together. They thank me for having them work hard.
The key to pushing them beyond what they know they can do is showing them how to get there, keeping it meaningful and cheering them on. It’s beautiful to watch. But first, there’s “The Rules”.