Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Expectations: A snapshot on how they influence instruction and learningtowards success, or ensure dismal failure




“Run 1 mile?” He can’t do that! He can walk a mile.”

“My son is on the Autism spectrum. He can’t even tie his shoelace on his own.  Sports like sailing, surfing, and skiing are just not feasible.”

“Biking?, she is four years old. Maybe when she is older.”

As a father, and as an Educator, I come across reactions like this all the time. They are normal reactions by parents, teachers, and caregivers. I don’t blame them, (because that is not helpful). Yet, I do carve out my advantage by bringing in a strikingly different approach. Using evidence-based methods of instruction, I add positive energy, hope, fun, and challenge. By creating momentum, I seek to engage my students. Through experience, I aim to instill in them the notion that Coach Bill truly wants their success. When words fail to express emotion, passion, and feeling, I look to communicate through my actions. I want them to know that I am invested in them, and  I want them to be ‘charged up,’ as I am about meeting new challenges, increasing their quality of life, and fostering independence-building skills in them. In other words, I understand that what I bring to each coaching session is going to impact my student. 

Expectations, in my professional opinion, need to be set high. Just above what they can achieve in the short term. The activities and tasks created by me (and parent feedback) are geared towards learning new skills and habits, as well as allowing the student experience a repetitive sense of accomplishment. Likewise, expectations need to be flexible to changing circumstances, adaptable, if need be, and agreed upon by all adult caregivers.  When all these pieces are lined up progress has the best chance of moving forward at a nice pace. Otherwise, dismal expectations will produce dismal results.

In the next posting by Coach Bill, I will address setback, failure, and strategies to provide insurance towards success.

For more, go to http://www.CoachBill.US
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