Considering Resistance

I was talking recently with two friends of mine; both are mothers of teenagers, and both are experiencing the joys and challenges of raising adolescent children.  One said that her daughter had recently uttered the words she had never wanted to hear. She had actually screamed, “I hate you, mom!”  Of course it was said in the heat of the moment.  Of course everyone knew she really didn’t mean it, but it was hurtful.  My other friend turned around and said, “If your kids aren’t angry with you once in a while, then you are probably not doing your job as a parent.”  This struck me as being true.  Of course part of being a good parent is to say no and deal with the fallout.  Being a good parent means sometimes having to be the bad guy, the unpopular person in the room.  We know that children learn from having limits set and enforced at times.  We know that sometimes we have to push our kids into areas that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable. We know that sometimes a bit of unpleasantness at the moment will lead to something worthwhile and much better in the long run.

Is this true with coaching as well?  Is it true that if you don’t meet with some resistance from teachers and administrators, then you are probably not doing your job as a literacy coach?  I’ve met with a bit of resistance over the last few weeks.  I know it’s the end of the school year and people are tired.  I know that maybe this isn’t the best time to introduce new ideas.  I also know that I want to give teachers, administrators, and especially students, everything I have until the last bus pulls out of the driveway on the last day of school. It’s hard to hear that teachers aren’t happy about initiatives I’ve suggested.  It’s hurtful.  But maybe, just maybe, being a coach involves (even requires) some resistance.  Maybe resistance is just part of the learning process. Maybe (hopefully) we will move through this patch of unpleasantness toward something that is going to be much better in the long run.



6 thoughts on “Considering Resistance

  1. I agree that resistance is probably part of the package. We do see it in our kids too (students and personal kids). Good for you for trying right until the end-it takes a thick skin and strong beliefs.

  2. Ugh! I wish it wasn’t tue, but I fear you are onto something… once again! You are challenging beliefs and ways of doing things that haven’t been challenged before. But this makes me think of something Mary shared with us about kids this year. When they say they don’t like a class or they don’t like to read, it’s usually code for “it’s hard.” Keep pushing to change that mindset. When they see that they can tackle what they believe to be hard, they’ll be motivated by what they see in their students.

    1. That sounds right. And just like we would with the kids, keep nurturing the relationships that make it possible for them to find the courage and energy required to try what is hard. @thelivbits posted that kids love mail from their teachers…I bet teachers would love positive notes from us as well, little pick-me-ups throughout the year, and even the summer.

  3. Analogy sounds plausible. Perhaps besides the zone of proximal development, there’s also a zone of proximal disenchantment — a.k.a. resistance. Bravo to you for consistently seeking that sweet(er) spot.

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