On Fri, 23 Jan 1998, Neal Steiger wrote:

> I myself had an instructor who told me I would never make it.
> I hate to think what might have happened if I had internalized his
> judgment. Fortunately, there were many other instructors who told me
> quite otherwise. Something to be said for at least a little dash of
> the "touchy-feely" in education.
> I would much rather err on the side of believing more in learners
> than what is possible than believeing less . . . and as much as I
> might know about learning -- I do not have a crystal ball.

Well said, Neal.  I'd like to add that in a previous message I wrote
about my experience and how, except for a wonderful Special Services
counselor who encouraged me well beyond the call of mere "duty," I
might have dropped out any number of times and become one of those
"unmotivated" and "not cut out for college" students we've been talking

This counselor went on to become a caseworker for the State Department of
Vocational Rehabilitation.  At her farewell party, I told her how
precious her faith in me had been at a time when I had no faith in
myself or my abilities to cut it in college.  To my surprise, she said,
"You are my favorite success story, Peggy.  I was sure when you first
came in that you would never make it and look at you now!"

My point is that had this wonderful person let her personal opinion of
my inability to succeed in college come through to ME, I WOULD have
dropped out, no question about it!  But she didn't, and here I am
today, at the ripe old age of 50--still in school, still doing well
(3.45 average or thereabouts!) and full of the love of learning and
helping others to learn to love learning too!  I cannot, therefore,
allow my personal opinion (which may be as wrong about someone else as
my beloved counselor's opinion was wrong about ME!) to cloud my
judgment and the mission of my department--which is to provide quality
tutoring to ALL my students--not just the ones I personally feel have
the best chance of success.  To pick and choose among students, to
focus my energies on the ones I think may have the best chance of
shining my personal "star" and fulfilling MY ego as a tutor would be to
neglect the "Peggy Kellers" out there who may be hurting, defensive,
lower than whale doo-doo in the self-esteem department, and just as
likely to blossom with encouragement and boundless "unconditional
positive regard" as I was!

Peggy Keller
English Instructional Technician
Assistance Centers for Education
Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM  87106