Monday, February 22, 2016

using encouragement as a management strategy

Hello dear readers. I've been writing quite a bit about classroom management strategies. No matter how many posts I write, I still hear that this is an area where teachers are hungry for more suggestions. So here's another strategy to add to your toolkit: using encouraging statements with students with whom you are struggling to connect.

This strategy comes from a text I've given to numerous new teachers When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim Your Game by Allen N. Mendler. There are many helpful strategies described in this book, some of which I've described in some previous posts. The strategy for today is to increase the number of encouraging statements providing specific praise and feedback to difficult students in your classroom. As Mendler notes, words of encouragement are important to help students feel connected, and can support building positive relationships with students. While useful for all students, this is particularly helpful for students that are struggling in school academically or with behavior.

Some suggested statements include:

  • You really hung in there to complete that assignment.
  • You got right to work after directions were given.
  • I was impressed today when you ____ .
  • When you did _____ , that showed special effort. 
  • It is not easy to _____ , but you are making progress by ____ . 
  • Your cooperation is really appreciated. 
  • You should feel proud of your work on ____ because ____ . 
Finding ways to incorporate more positive, encouraging statements with students struggling with behavior can help build your relationship and make a positive difference in their interactions in class.

What are some positive statements you use with students?

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