Action should lead to movement from point A to point B. It must break the status quo. When it comes to children or colleagues it is important that we engage in proactive action. As Michael Fullan describes, action can be a pull, a push, a nudge, or a combination of all three.
Push is when you are assertive and believe that your thinking and action is going to benefit the learner. Perhaps the learner will also see it in that light at some point if not immediately. You may need to push them to adhere to deadlines, maintain their attendance, develop good study habits when they do not seem inclined to do so.
That is fine.
Just try not to make it your first choice always.
Pull, is when you draw them in with your excitement, create a common vision for their advancement, engage them in your planning. Get them excited about your class, the upcoming topic, share responsibilities with them.
Make them feel that they own their learning.
Nudge, when they are not always ready to take on challenging tasks. Slowly nudge them into trying out new strategies to learn, correct subject vocabulary to use, collaborate with their peers, share ‘air space’ and the ‘spot light’ when working in groups.
Use anchor charts, class protocols etc to reinforce the message. Enable them to make the right choices by guiding them. Give positive feedback as they extend themselves.
Just remember that it doesn’t take much for a nudge to become a push.