"Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results"
. . . a fourth-grader summarized her conclusions much more succinctly this way: "When I was in first grade and second grade and third grade, when I cried my teachers coddled me. When I got to Mrs. T's room, she told me to suck it up and get to work. I think she's right. I need to work harder."
I'll note two qualifications, though.
1. Nothing in management or teaching works for all people under all circumstances. Maybe some kids will do better if they're praised and coddled a little. That's one of many reasons why there should be as much decentralization and choice in education as possible.
2. Patience and persistence are usually great. But they occasionally have limits, too. As W. C. Fields put it: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it." Or as Kenny Rogers sang, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em."