Tomorrow is the last day for the 101 Ways to Praise Challenge. Keep those praises flowing and use them on your children every chance you get.
You can’t teach a student that you don’t love
These words of advice were given to me by the first college president that I taught under in 1993.
I walked into the classroom on that first day and stared at this motley group of pierced, tattooed, blue-haired, pants falling down teens and thought – how can you love this bunch? But, I decided to give it a try.
As the students introduced themselves that day, I decided to focus on at least one thing that I liked about that student; then build my relationship with them from there.
It worked and I’ve been using that technique in the classroom ever since.
The positive atmosphere turns hatred of school back into the natural love of learning.
Teachers can make or break esteem
How many times have you heard a young child say, “My teacher said I…”
Your opinion is important to a child. To them you are the ultimate authority – if you say it, it must be so. With such great power comes great responsibility.
What are you saying about your students? What are you saying to them? Are you hurting or helping with your words? Remind yourself how important your words can be, no matter the age of the child.
- Give bliss, don’t take it away. You have been given the amazing power to change lives. Do not abuse this power or use it to destroy.
- Stop students from being unkind. I hang Gus around their neck when they say something unkind. This reminds them that being unkind is like a monkey on your back.
- Find ways to encourage students that are struggling without damaging their esteem. For instance, I give my students points for TRYING a math problem and additional points for getting the right answer.
- Be sensitive to embarrassment, especially among teens. Having a child who struggles with reading read aloud in front of the class further reinforces their HATRED for reading and their sense of humiliation.
- Look for the good in every student, especially those students who are the most challenging. You will gain their respect and they will be much easier to teach.
- Use at least one of the 101 Ways to Praise on each student every day.
- Give students opportunities to shine. “Johnny will be in charge of printing on our poster since he has such great handwriting. Suzy can pick out the colors since she is really good at it.”
- Caustic words are a form of bullying. Don’t be a bully.
- Visit Taquila Coleman for great uplifting videos.
- Work on your own self-esteem. If you feel good about yourself, you will have no need to degrade others, including your students.
Don’t forget the 101 Ways to Praise Challenge. We’re trying to collect 101 unique ways to praise your children by Friday midnight. If you reply to this post with at least one unique way to praise along with your Twitter ID and a positive link, I will give you a shout out on Twitter.