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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by helenhobbs, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. helenhobbs

    helenhobbs New commenter

    Working part-time in year 1 class....recent observations have been told I don't use enough 'praise'. Im not a gushy person and tend to give praise when it's really earned but maybe I'm not using the strategy enough. Class are lovely, no major behaviour issues but sometimes concentration not all it should be and SLT are hot on attitudes to learning and children showing really positive attitudes all the time. Any tips on how to train myself to praise more?
  2. Mrskeletor

    Mrskeletor New commenter

    It's debatable whether praise actually helps children and raises standards. I recently went on a 'growth mind set' course, where we were taught to talk to the children about what they did well and how they could improve. It was all about opening a dialogue with the child and talking about effort as opposed to praising them every time they take a breath!
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I was probably 'guilty' of this as a teacher, but found it much easier once we instituted a whole-school system of using raffle tickets to give students when they gave a good answer, etc. As the tickets were in front of me on the desk or carried in my hand as I moved around the room, it was a constant reminder to praise and reward. I needed to show I was doing it when I was teaching my own classes as I was the headteacher!

    The tickets went into a prize draw every week and those drawn out got small prizes (or could save up 'credit' for bigger ones). Even if the school doesn't do it, there's no reason why you couldn't do it on your own - but do try to get the funding for tickets and prizes from the school, I'd hate to think you were paying out of your own pocket.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You can have tangible rewards but are you just saying it often enough?

    I was always taught 3 praise to every criticism and I think it works.

    You can praise for effort and for achievement. You can discipline yourself by setting aside a specific feedback five minutes. Start with some general observations and then single out individuals

    Have a traffic light graphic.

    Under green pick out pupils and write their names for all to see.

    Under amber write some general things the group can tighten up on.

    Under red write some "Please don't" phrases (1 or 2)

    If you make it part of a plenary then you won't forget. It's also good to start with it. "I remember from last lesson when Amber did this, Bradley did that and Chad did something else and that's what I'd like to see again today, please."

    Then there'll definitely be 2 parts of the lesson when you'll do it as well as odd moments throughout.

    Also you'd hope that any observers will pick up on this as they frankly couldn't miss it!
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    The theory / rationale behind Growth Mindset has been around for a quite a while and I think I read that Carol Dweck was about to release some new research ? I get it but I don't think it is rocket science . Anyhow at one school I taught in a long long time ago our keynote speaker advocated the 5 : 1 rule or some such thing to have the staff focus on the ratio of praise to non praise as it were.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    One of my daughter's teachers operated a raffle, but what I really liked was that most of the prizes were not "things". They might get to be the person who took the register to the office, or "game chooser" for the next time there was an odd 5 minutes for a game before lunch. My daughter's favourite was "artist's corner", which entitled her to sit and draw while listening to the hometime story. One prize was to take home the 6 foot collage penguin they'd made as a class - the teacher was sensible enough to tell them all to check the day before whether their parents were happy for them to have that prize.
    Middlemarch likes this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yes, it is common sense. Everyone needs affirmation.

    Including teachers.

    When a colleague comes into your room a word of approbation is much appreciated.

    "Nice display."

    "What a lovely tidy desk."

    I know I'm betraying my First School origins but it's true.
    Kartoshka likes this.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    And husbands and wives and other partners . . .


    Best wishes

    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    We're supposed to have tidy desks?
    ScotSEN and JRiley1 like this.
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    Best wishes

    ScotSEN likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    No. But it might be important for some teachers to have their neatness acknowledged. Doesn't mean they're better. I wasn't especially tidy but I was well-organised.

    Just something to say. A pleasantry. Not a good example.

    (You can tell I have Asperger's and don't take readily to this sort of social nicety.)

    But praise (aka reinforcement) is vital.
  12. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I worked with someone who had an office like the one in the photo. It was like doing an obstacle course when you went in. This person's classroom was similar.
  13. oHelzo

    oHelzo Occasional commenter

    A tough one, because you want to make your praise targeted and be too 'gushy' as you put it. What changed it for me was some supply and CPD in a lovely church primary school with a very positive attitude. Every child was made to feel valued for efforts and contributing, for working hard and being kind and polite to others.

    Do you take opportunities for praise as part of verbal questioning? It's a simple one to start with a cheery 'well done' and big smile when questions are answered correctly. Or when students are doing a task, to circle the room and congratulate those working well, or someone who has mastered a tough concept for them. Try to remind them of 'what' they did well also so they know which behaviours to continue. Can you select a child from small group work to demonstrate their learning to the class? Thus increasing confidence as well as acknowledging their work. Choosing the child sitting quietly and upright as the example for others to follow. Leading on the positive of what you want them to do, rarely the negative of what not to do.

    Can't wait to hear some of your ideas. It's the main part of my teaching that I treasure and still bring to my work today when sorting out unruly health professionals in our training sessions. I hope this comes for you too with your little ones (or bigger ones, who knows) :)
  14. chubbyone

    chubbyone Occasional commenter

    I had a look of horror from a fellow teacher the other week when asked if I wanted sticker bookmarks or something like that and I said no thank you. Was told but you will be the only one who doesn't have them? No thank you. Why because I am constantly saying 'wow' giving smiles, thumbs up saying to the children ' I wish I was as brilliant as you you!' I am nurturing a class full of superstars who are proud of what they achieve for a positive mindset. Not to create a class of children who think they can only show achievement by a sticker or a stamp. To hear a 4 year old say to a complete stranger whilst showing them their creation ' do you like this I did it I am good you know and it's wrong but it's good you know as it doesn't matter'.
    Don't get me wrong, stickers etc have their place but a healthy positive mindset is much better.
  15. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Verbal praise = good and something for the more ' concrete ' learners like sticker also=good. Why not both ? ? Differentiating your practice is good practice . It's not about you !
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Also you need to change it around a bit. Systems get stale. They appreciate new things. It also shows you're making an effort to please THEM!
  17. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Why else would TES take away our points, give them back, call us stars, tempt us with signatures etc.

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