top of page

Three Habits of Highly-Effective Warm Demanders

“Warm Demanders expect a great deal of their students, convince them of their own brilliance, and help them reach their potential in a disciplined and structured environment”.

Lisa Delpit, Multiplication is for White People


Clear expectations and accountability are foundational to maximizing the learning of all students. In the text, “Multiplication is For White People”, Lisa Delpit highlights two essential traits trademark of effective “Warm Demander” teachers:

  1. High expectations

  2. Consistent accountability

In her great wisdom, Delpit charges educators to actively display a deep conviction in their students’ natural ability by developing a classroom community in which “no [student is] allowed to disengage”. To this end, educators are encouraged to set students up for success through designing systems that hold students accountable for engagement and effort. This is most crucial when implementing engagement activities that fall outside of the regular classroom routine!

Read actionable tips below to leverage a “Warm Demander” culture in your classroom and maximize the student learning experience!

1) Establish Clear Expectations: Establish clear guidelines for exemplar effort and interactions for classroom activities. Expectations should be succinct and clearly communicate what excellence looks like and sounds like. In addition, proactively communicate these expectations before beginning engagement activities and reinforce throughout the lesson!

2) Model and Practice: In order to support positive behavior and minimize confusion, explicitly model and practice activities with students before releasing them to work. This also includes practicing group interactions and teamwork. Frequency of practice is left to the expertise of the teacher and based on classroom dynamics. Some classes may only need to practice a task once or twice while other groups may benefit from repetitive practice.

3) Hold Students Accountable…Every Time: Pair expectations with logical consequences for effort and productivity. Proactively communicate consequences to students. This is not to threaten students into compliance; rather create classroom of mutual respect through informing students of potential outcomes. Throughout activity, give actionable feedback as needed to students who are not meeting expectations. If expectations are consistently not met, provide a logical consequence. That said, consequence should not hinder student learning or exclude them from the classroom community.

We hope these recommendations serve their intended purpose. Cheers to teaching and learning at high levels of student engagement!

bottom of page