Thursday, August 23, 2012


One of the most important things that all teachers should do at the start of the school year is to direct their students' thinking about themselves. A class that perceives itself as filled with toublemakers will, without a doubt or any hesitation cause trouble. If, instead of allowing students to create negative images of themselves as a group, think what would happen if you teach them to think highly of themselves. Here is a brief excerpt from THE FIRST-YEAR TEACHER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE to help you get your students headed in the right direction.

Unless you create a positive identity for your class, students may take your smallest misbehavior

correction to mean that you think of them as troublesome. This will happen even more quickly if

students in your class have struggled with school in the past. Once a group starts to think of itself in

a negative way, it is almost impossible to change the group’s self-perception into a positive one.

            Sometimes students have been dragging this negativity around for years. If you can eliminate the negative image and give your class a positive self-image, you will all receive the rewards. But this is no easy task. What you must do is make a conscious effort to praise and reinforce your class’s positive group attributes. Thus, you will promote the group’s desirable behaviors and extinguish their negative ones.

            Even difficult classes can have positive attributes. If a group is very talkative, for example, you can put a positive twist on it and praise the students for their sociability. Further, focus on students’ strengths, rather on what they do poorly. To create a positive group image, you must find and reinforce their positive attributes. Here’s how:

Step One: If you learn that your class has a negative self-image, let students know that you disagree with it.

Step Two: Observe two things about your class: how your students interact with each other and with you and how they do their work. Find at least one positive attribute that you can reinforce.

Step Three: Begin praising that positive attribute as often as you can. In a few days, you will notice that your students will accept it as truth and will start to  bring it up themselves.

            Think of a positive label or two for each class and use these labels frequently. Each of your classes should believe they have a special place in your heart. Here are a few positive labels your students should hear you use at the start of the year:

·       Caring

·       Motivated

·       Intelligent

·       Prepared

·       Successful

·       Friendly

·       Polite

·       Accurate

·       Efficient

·       Reasonable

·       Adaptable

·       Reflective

·       Adventurous

·       Energetic

·       Creative

·       Studious

·       Realistic

·       Cooperative

·       Industrious

·       Likable

·       Helpful

·       Dependable

·       Ingenious

·       Determined

·       Thoughtful

·       Deep thinkers

·       Punctual

·       Curious

·       Inventive

No comments:

Post a Comment