Above all else I want my students to be independently minded. That is the greatest gift any teacher can bestow upon a pupil. Unfortunately my field work very rarely does this. They just line students up and tell them what to do. I like to create activities and to prompt thinking so that students discover things for themselves. I act as a coach or a guide as opposed to a person who just barks orders. If a student finds out something for themselves and can be guided how to improve it, they will commit to it more. This commitment is further encouraged by my "think like a teacher" philosophy. All my students are encouraged to train their fellow students. As often as possible, I put them in positions where they are empowered to take responsibility for their fellow classmate and to improve him or her.
I see strength in individualism. By getting a student to acknowledge the advantages of being unique you not only build confidence, but also creativity and progress. We do not abdicate blame or responsibility, we look at how a single person can change things for the better. In a frontline self defence situation no one can tell you what you will do. Only you will have a good idea of what you will be capable of by honestly assessing yourself through pressure testing and applying reason. On a macrocosmic level we encourage students to make a difference in their communities and through their own education and careers. By taking an individualistic approach I also point the dangers of mindless conformity or simply obeying herd instinct.
Reason and logic are key skills for a student to learn if they are going to approach anything that is practical. We need keep a reasoned sceptical eye on what we are being taught, how we are being taught and why we are being taught. Every drill, exercise or test will have some type of flaw and this must be acknowledged in order to make any progress. No one is above questioning and no one is above error. We take our inspiration from the scientific method, which means that students are encouraged to test everything.