Magazine article AMLE Magazine

Accentuate the Positive

Magazine article AMLE Magazine

Accentuate the Positive

Article excerpt

We talk a lot about motivating students through positive reinforcement. It sends a powerful message and it's easy to do. In addition to marking a grade at the top of a student's essay, you add "Great job! You make some excellent points!" or "I am really happy with your progress! Keep it up!" As you hand back math tests, you tell students how pleased you are with the way they demonstrated their understanding of the new concepts.

Showing interest in your students' lives is another way to give students some positive reinforcement. Knowing about your students' hobbies, likes, dislikes, and activities outside school opens the door for you to ask how the band competition went, what they thought about the new blockbuster movie they saw over the weekend, or whether their new puppy is keeping them awake all night.

When students know you care about them and have confidence in them, they come to school feeling good about themselves, motivated to do their best. For some students, your smile and enthusiastic, "Good morning" may be their first positive interaction that day. …

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