Many educators, particularly those focused on having culturally responsive and inclusive classrooms, understand the value of being a “warm demander” for their students. This term, originally coined in 1975 by Judith Kleinfeld, describes how teachers can hold their students to high expectations in a structured environment while still conveying a deep and sincere belief in, and care for, those students.
More recently, teachers and coaches have described warm demanders as educators who, in the words of author Lisa Delpit, "expect a great deal of their students, convince them of their own brilliance, and help them to reach their potential in a disciplined and structured environment." If you are a teacher who is unfamiliar with this term, I strongly recommend making the effort to learn more about it, whether you work with underserved or highly privileged youth.
This article is not focused on our students, however. It is focused on you, the educator. The purpose of this article is to invite YOU to extend the same level of warmth and unconditional positive regard to yourself.