The Power of Small Praise

Teachers love to praise students. Praise can go a long way.  However, teachers often make the mistake of praising in a grandiose manner which often draws unwanted attention on a student.  If a teacher has a solid classroom management plan, praise can be done in a very powerful, yet subtle manner.

Praising a student for good behavior with the intent of hoping other students follow suite is not an effective strategy.  It fosters resentment among students and can often make the recipient of the praise uncomfortable and ultimately backfire.

Using more subtle forms of praise are far more effective.  Eye contact with a smile or nod, a quiet word spoken to a student, a simple gesture or a special note written just for that student are far more powerful.  They are meant only for that one student and the student knows this and feels it to his core. This is motivating.  This can soften even the most difficult students to reach.

These are the small, memorable moments between a teacher and student that help sustain teachers through some of the darkest hours of their career.

Imagine this, sitting at your desk while students enter in the morning and make eye contact with students who are following your established routine and give them a genuine smile and a nod of your head.  You will begin to see the power of this gesture as more and more students witness this simple gesture and begin to get on board with the routine.  In a short period of time, you will have everyone settled and working without having to say a word.

Learning how to control the masses using subtle cues meant for individual students is the next step for teachers who have a working classroom management system.  However, without a plan, the subtle cues will have little effect.

You need a firm classroom management plan which is fair and consistent.  If you don’t have one, stop everything and start over in your classroom as if it’s the first day of school. Students will need to feel your resolve in your intent to implement a new classroom management system.  Remember, you are in charge.  You set the tone.  Once you have your new or improved classroom management system in place, then you can begin to use and feel the power of subtle cues to praise.

As always, I welcome comments and please sign up for notifications of future posts.

 

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