Warm Demanders

expectation + kindness

Since I’m back to working in education, I’m also back to thinking about what makes a good educator. A term I occasionally run across in research is “warm demander.” It is usually used in discussions about K-12 education, particularly in research involving minority or underprivileged students.

What is a warm demander?

The basic idea is that warm demanders are teachers who set high expectations and then convince each student that he or she is brilliant and can meet those expectations. It is the opposite of creating hurdles designed to “weed out” less promising students.

Of course, I work with adults and have been thinking of ways adult educators can be warm demanders. And, really, even with adult students it is a matter of setting expectations and then providing the support and encouragement that allows them to succeed.

Can we all be warm demanders?

It occurs to me that we all want to know what is expected of us at home, at work, with friends and family. We all crave support and opportunities to succeed. A combination of expectation and kindness would allow each of us to set boundaries while extending graciousness to others as they learn to interact with us.

If we expect others to treat us kindly, we set that standard and then create opportunities for kindness. As I write this, the phrase “kill them with kindness” comes to mind. Psychologically, this a potent position to take. You stand firm in your values while affirming the value of the other person. It’s a very warm demander thing to do.

[I later looked up the history of the “kill them with kindness” idiom and found this excellent article on why kindness is such a powerful tool for conflict resolution.]

Creative potential

As a creative person, I see so many benefits to becoming a warm demander. It opens opportunities for

  1. Creating lasting positive impact

  2. Creating success for yourself and others

  3. Creating innovative solutions to difficult problems

I think a creative warm demander lifestyle would serve us all well as we look forward to the future.

Current projects

I am working on several projects right now:

  • A pajama set I am designing using the Wild Ginger Pattern Drafting software

  • Happy mail packages for fellow Collage Art Collective Members

  • Baby quilts for babies due in May and June

  • A garter set for an Etsy customer

  • A new digital collage

You can follow my creative journey through my YouTube Vlog. I want to mix things up a bit so I’m going to alternate vlogs with a podcast and a review. So, each month I will publish two vlogs, a podcast, and a review video. Of course, you also get this newsletter each Tuesday!


That’s it for this week. I hope your week includes a creative project to soothe your soul.

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