Why Praising Your Students Is Critical + 9 Ways To Do It Seamlessly
“You're doing great; keep going!”
Did that make you feel motivated already? If yes, then that is the power of praise.
Teaching is fun until you discover that your efforts do not receive the right feedback. As a teacher, you work really hard to plan out lessons. Yet, you may often feel demotivated to teach when your student does not make an effort for learning or perceives a material too hard for them.
So, how do you get Patrick to complete his science project? Simply by praising their efforts and motivating them when they feel down. But how to do that? Keep reading to get your answer in 9 easy ways.
How Important Is it to Praise Your Students?
Praise is one simple yet potent tool you can use to increase your student's engagement and motivation in the classroom. If you use it effectively, it can help you resolve student behavior issues.
As a result, your students will improve their attitudes about learning. Believe us; praise works like magic. It really does.
Many students with different learning and thinking disabilities are often dealt with harshly. When they receive negative feedback, they don't take it positively. Instead, it only adds to their pile of struggles. However, they are only a compliment away from an entirely different picture.
Praise is an influential and persuasive tool for teachers; however, it is mostly underused. Still, fortunately, there are teachers who use praise as a primary tool to encourage their students to learn. As a result, they reap beneficial outcomes by building a healthy relationship with their students.
That does not mean you start praising your students for every little thing they may do. As you may have heard, "Too much of anything is bad." However, using the tool in a balanced manner may come in handy for you.
If you are convinced enough to try using this technique, let's have a further look into how you'll be implementing it.
9 Ways You Can Praise Your Students
Knowing the ingredients is not just enough if you don't know how to cook. Similarly, knowing how and what to appreciate your students for is as essential as the praise itself.
Here, we will be discussing how you can use praise as a tool to uplift your classroom spirits.
Be More Specific and Personalized
Instead of just general praises, descriptive and precise praise can help create more impact.Kicking the guesswork out of the room, a specified compliment can address exactly what you want your student to repeat.
For example, "Well done - you were organized today at lunch!" is better than "You were good today at lunch."
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Remember that every student is different, and no two students can be entirely similar. While some students may enjoy praise in front of the whole class, others may shy away or become uncomfortable when singled out.
To cater to this situation, you can observe which students do not welcome the spotlight and appreciate quietly. You can address them either when they're alone or not surrounded by many fellows.
Praise At The Moment
Just as you like your food more when it is served hot, similarly, the impact of praise is more powerful if it is given at the moment of action.
This does not mean you should or can not appreciate your students afterward. But, complimenting them while they complete their task may boost their stamina or encourage them to do even better.
This way, your student also realizes that you are aware of their good behavior and efforts. So, they repeat their good behaviors more often to impress you.
Clearly State Your Expectations
If you want your praise to hit right at the target, you have to indicate what you want in turn.
Of course, you need to state what you want from your students rather than letting them make assumptions.
In simpler words, you can give your students a deadline to complete a certain task. The one who successfully completes the task first will receive appreciation from the teacher, or maybe, amp up your game and offer a fake medal for the winner.
For instance, if you expect your students to finish their classwork in 10 minutes, you may say,
Praise Example 1
Wow, you completed the work in under 10 minutes. That's great!
Appreciate the Journey, Not Just the Result
As a teacher, you may often come across some students who think and learn differently.
These students struggle with completing an assignment or a task. Even after several attempts, they can't get it right. Over time, such students may get discouraged for not getting the results they wanted and eventually think their efforts are just not worth it.
To support and motivate your students, you can use behavior-specific praise.
For example, you can encourage them as they continue making efforts and ensure that they are headed in the right direction.
Praise Example 2
Good going; you've worked so hard to write your first draft!
Be Genuine and Avoid Overpraising
It is essential that you sincerely mean what you say to your students. Older students have a great sense of knowing when you're pretending. If they find out that you're dishonest with your words, you most probably end up hurting their sentiments.
Therefore, try not to praise students effusively, as it may damage your relationship with them. Not only that, but your students may even question your judgment for overpraising.
Avoid Comparison Among Students
Most of the time, praising students who outperform in the class can damage other students' self-confidence. They may start to assume their abilities are far less than those who topped the exam.
Imagine a teacher complimenting one student in front of the whole class with "You were the best competitor in the spelling master!"
This comment may indicate to the rest of the students that the teacher thinks that they are not best or good.
So, as a teacher, you can say something like,
Praise Example 3
Congratulations, class, for putting effort into spelling such difficult words; you all are the champions. However, this time, Alex did it better than you all. Hope to see another winner in the next competition.
Additionally, students may enjoy receiving praise from multiple people and not just the teacher. You can encourage your whole class to appreciate a student or that does better than them. This may stir their enthusiasm and motivate them to receive this special treatment.
For instance, if you notice a student doing social work, you can share this information with the class and ask them to clap for that student. The clapping will not only appreciate the good work , but also boost your student's self-confidence.
Be Sensitive To Cultural Differences
While praising a student for his abilities, make sure your praise does not highlight any cultural differences. Many times, a teacher compliments a student that may support a stereotype related to any race, ethnicity, or disability.
For example, "Mark, you're the only black child to top this test." Although this is a compliment, it highlights the ethnicity of the student. This is not cool at all.
By doing so, you will not only damage your relationship with the class but may as well cause an inferiority complex in that student.
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Keep Track of Your Praise
To make sure you do not overpraise one student while others are left behind, you should maintain a record of your praise. Sounds difficult? Let's make it simple.
Start by selecting three or five students before the class that you want to praise for the efforts they made previously.
By doing so, you can make sure every student gets their turn to be appreciated.
The easiest way to figure out how and when to praise your students is simply being observant.
You must keep an eye on every move a student makes. Trying to know every student, their behavior, and attitudes is one way to go. Once you find improvement in a student's bad patterns, praise it right away.
Of course, as a teacher, it may sound too exhausting and stressful. But, this is what teachers are for, reshaping lives for a better future.
Your little efforts can significantly impact and help your students gain their true potential.
Try to praise your students in newer, creative, and cool ways each day to connect and build a reliable relationship with them. Incorporating behavior and effort-based praises into your teaching routine is definitely a tedious task. To get started, you can try using praise as an effective tool to manage your class in the healthiest way possible.