Giving Our Students Effective Praise

Sep 04, 2015
Giving Our Students Effective Praise

Which would you prefer to hear from a parent who is visiting your classroom?  “You are such a sweet teacher!” Or, “You really seem to understand the needs of your children – I can tell by the way you responded to the two who were fighting over a toy!” Both complements are welcome, I know! But which one feels more genuine, like the giver has observed and sincerely appreciated something you’ve done?

When we praise children (and teenagers and adults too…), we can be more effective by being selective with our words. Direct your praise to an individual child or small group of children.  Be descriptive and specific by giving feedback about the behavior being encouraged. Use a natural and enthusiastic tone of voice.

“You put all the lids on the markers.  Now they won’t dry out.”
Rather than:  “Good job cleaning the art table.”

“Avian, you remembered to raise your hand before talking.  That way two people weren’t talking at the same time and I could hear what you had to say.”
Rather than:  “Great job during circle time, Ava.”

“Marcus, I noticed you shared the trucks with Michael today.”
Rather than:  “You are such a nice boy, Marcus.”

Feeding the soul with positive words… is one way we can be kind to children.

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