Managing Students Who Say, “I Can’t”
Found in: Student Management
Hilary C., Western Australia
In managing the interpersonal dynamics of others, you need to take control – in a kind, polite and firm manner – but nonetheless, control.
For example, I don’t let my students say ‘I can’t’. I don’t mind if they say ‘I find it difficult – I need to work on it…’ etc. And I encourage them to express their negatives. Something else I might say is ‘have you tried it – how do you know you can’t do it?’ – especially if this is first reaction to something new, and I love it when they do it and surprise themselves.
The reason I don’t allow ‘I can’t’ – and I explain this to students – is that it shuts doors in the head and gives them permission not to bother (in other words it is used as a cop out) – ‘I find it hard’ or some such thing, means that the toe is pushing the door open – it also teaches students that working at something brings reward, and fits in with the SM premise of ‘adequate dosage’. It fits in too with the idea of minimizing a stay and moving onwards out of the ‘valley’.
For students who are used to ‘winning’, it is good for them to get used to having to tackle things that scare them, and subsequently find that winning isn’t everything – not done in 5 minutes but in a very supportive and respectful environment.
Also it can influence an attitude to life in general and open the mind to possibilities that might otherwise be overlooked.