Friday, November 23, 2012

Thrivapy, Students' Wants, and the Essential Triad

One of the conversations (or series of conversations) I have with students during thrivapy sessions is to help them articulate what they, the student, wants out of their school experience.  For some students,  this is a difficult question to answer because, frankly, for many of these students, no one has ever asked.  When asked, students tend to "open the floodgates."  However, it is important to remind students that while their wants are important, there are still two other parties who have an interest in their success and those parties have wants that deserve and need respecting also.

The essential triad - students, parents, and schools - do not always need to agree completely on every desired outcome.  However, each component needs to respect the fact that the other two matter.

It is easy to fall into the trap of only respecting the wants of your most closely identified group.  During my thrivapy sessions, it is important to remind the party I am working with that it is perfectly fine to have a desired outcome that differs from the other two, but those differences cannot be dismissed as unimportant.

Recognizing that a strong essential triad requires mutual respect for both similarities AND differences is among the most important early conditions of productive thripay.

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