Encouragement in the Classroom: How Do I Help Students Stay Positive and Focused?

Encouragement in the Classroom: How Do I Help Students Stay Positive and Focused?

Encouragement in the Classroom: How Do I Help Students Stay Positive and Focused?

Encouragement in the Classroom: How Do I Help Students Stay Positive and Focused?

Synopsis

We all know the factors that can threaten a positive classroom environment: stress from testing, lack of motivation, and problems that students bring from home, for a start. What if we could implement some simple practices to buffer against these factors' negative effects?

The good news is that we can. Encouragement in the Classroom explores the small yet high-impact changes that teachers can make to transform students' school experience every day. Drawing from positive psychology research, educator Joan Young explains how fostering humor, mindfulness, resilience, curiosity, and gratitude in the classroom empowers students to learn from their mistakes, celebrate successes, and actively engage in learning. Filled with examples, this publication offers practical, classroom-tested strategies, routines, and rituals that teachers can use immediately to defuse the negative effects of stress and create a stimulating and supportive classroom culture.

Excerpt

Classroom environment is one of the most important factors affecting student learning. Simply put, students learn better when they view the learning environment as positive and supportive (Dorman, Aldridge, & Fraser, 2006). A positive environment is one in which students feel a sense of belonging, trust others, and feel encouraged to tackle challenges, take risks, and ask questions (Bucholz & Sheffler, 2009). Such an environment provides relevant content, clear learning goals and feedback, opportunities to build social skills, and strategies to help students succeed (Weimer, 2009).

We all know the factors that can threaten a positive classroom environment: problems that kids bring from home, lack of motivation among students whose love of learning has been drilled right out of them, pressures from testing, and more. We can’t control all these factors, but what if we could implement some simple strategies to buffer against their negative effects?

The good news is that we can. We can foster effective learning and transform the experience of our students every day by harnessing the power of emotions. If you’re already objecting that you don’t have time for that kind of thing, don’t worry: I’m not talking about holding a daily class meeting . . .

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