I continue to enjoy this book. The Zander’s continue to present a common sense approach to living and leading. I could relate to Chapter 5, Leading from Any Chair. When I read some of the stories relayed to us, I had to smile.
I am a coach, and I have always tried to allow the students I work with the chance to tell me what they feel they need to work on. My most successful competitors have taken to this approach and we have productive practice sessions, which translates into success in rounds of debate and speech. I believe the more ownership the child has with her practice and performance sessions, the better she feels.
As part of this approach, I also have sessions where we don’t work on specific pieces to perform. Sometimes, just sitting and talking about school or life or almost anything is more effective than going over a performance selection for the umpteenth time. Being able to relax, and lighten up a little, is following Rule Number Six. In the scheme of things, speech competition is minor to some of the other things my kids deal with every day, and by showing an interest in the rest of their lives, it allows me to then be able to ask for more of them when it really counts, in competition.
I think I have had this approach for most of my career. It is nice when respected individuals like the Zanders validate what I have been doing.
Making connections to your students is crucial for them to 'buy-in' to you and your program. I also believe that when you are interested in them personally, they are more comfortable with you and will see your commitment and dedication to your program and to them. No question about it. I have no question they know you care and know that you are truly a master teacher.