http://revach.net/article.php?id=4896

Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
Rav Shamshon Rephael Hirsch - Like A New Rabbi In Town

Rav Shamshon Rephael Hirsch said that an experienced Rav who served in many kehilos one told him as follows. I once came to be Rav in a new town. There were good people who wanted to make sure I got off on the right foot and offered to help me. They brought mew a list of the key people in the town with a short description of what they were like so that I would know how to deal with them. They were well intentioned so I thanked them but politely refused to look at the list.

A Rav must know that not looking at such a list will help him deal better with all the people and positively influence them. It is better that I truly believe that each person is at his core a good person, wants to do the right thing, and is a mentch. When the people see that this is what I think of them they will play the role, and as I become close to each one of them, they will really try to act like that and it will eventually become their nature.

This says Rav Shamshon Rephael Hirsch is a basic fundamental of effective Chinuch. "Woe is to the teacher and woe is to the student when the teacher has already judged him unfavorably." Not only must a teacher or parent show the child he believes in him, he must really believe it himself or else he has no chance to change him. Any deviant behavior should be confronted with surprise and the child be told that this is not normal for him. Surely not to label him and berate him as one who typically behaves in this fashion. (Avnei Choshen - Mabat Chiyuvi)