Realistic expectations aid growth mindset.

In my last blog post, I said talked about the need to believe that every one of your students, whether teens or adults, can and will learn to write competently in your class. 

One of the ways you can make it easier to get all your students writing competently before your course is over is to help them set realistic expectations at the very beginning of the course.

The first thing students need to know is what kind of writing you expect them to do. 

Teens’ first question is, "Why do we need to know this stuff?"

Adults have a different question. Their first question is, "Why do I need to know this stuff?"

You may be able to foist off 14-year-olds a line about college requirements and the creative thinking employers want today. Employed adults won’t fall for it. They expect to acquire skills to use right away on their jobs.

You’d better make sure your "here’s why" rings true to the bookkeeper who is studying to be a CPA and to the LPN studying to be a RN.

FYI: You’ll have far more credibility with adult students if you worked one summer in a human resources office than if your on-the-job writing experience is limited to writing lesson plans.