The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 23 2013

“I’m proud of you.”

“I’m so proud of y’all!”
“WHOA, it’s such a good day!”
“…Huh?”
“…You haven’t said that to us in months.”

I shower my students with energy & positivity & happiness — to the point where they sometimes think I’m a robot. After a good class, or even a good discussion to reach a solution to a problem, words of encouragement start pouring from my mouth.

“You were awesome today.”
“You rocked that that problem.”
“Check you out!”

However, a single phrase had gotten stuck at the bottom of my repertoire of positive reinforcement tactics. I’m proud of you. I got so focused on the job I was doing as a teacher & my students following along with my plan that I forgot the most important part — they are doing the work. A good day often means that I’ve been a good teacher, but that’s not the end goal. The goal is that my students did good work. That I am proud of them, and that they are proud of themselves.

So, it’s time to pick this encouragement tool up, dust it off, and put it to work.

 

[Bonus update from room A209 -- I also got locked in my classroom on Friday morning, and K was the student who bailed me out. Karma is real.]

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