Promote What You Want to See in Your Students for a Happier and Less Stressful Start to the New School Year
Students generally respond better to rewards than to verbal scoldings. Rather than getting overtly upset when a student doesn’t remember how to line up on the first week, try verbally praising those who do. Granted, this is not a technique that will work for all students or for repeated noncompliance.
- Though it may seem trite, try to act like you’d want your own child’s teachers to act. If you want kind and caring students, you have to model those traits for them. Always remember that it is not only your students who are watching and hearing you, but parents, teacher colleagues, and administrators, as well. Professionalism trumps other emotions whenever possible. If there is a situation that puts someone in danger, call for help. If there is a situation that so overwhelms you that you feel compelled to act out of professional character, seek the assistance of a superior or guidance professional.
- It is okay not to be perfect. In fact, it may be good for your students to occasionally see you make a careless error on a chart paper with printed sentences, and correct it. Share that experience with them. Show them that though we strive to be error-free, we sometimes make a mistake; however, correcting those mistakes can be a great way to cement the learning.
- Cooperative learning, small work groups, team competitions, and other configurations of teams of students working together to solve a common problem or goal can be extremely rewarding experiences for students. In fact, many workplaces complain that employees don’t know how to work together. Model and enable students to learn how to do this. Prepare and share the work rules and roles of each student in advance so that they know your expectations. Rotate among the groups to see how well they are doing. Take running records (notes) and be sure to follow-up with students on how this activity went and how to improve on it the next time.
Dr. Diane Kelley, TeacherReady®
Feature image: Oxford Learning