Monday, 8 August 2016

Be Your Student's Superhero!

This has been on my mind for a while now.  It is something that I think does not come naturally to everyone, and is therefore overlooked by many.  It applies to not only teachers, but parents too.

I'll be honest with you and admit that my 'light-bulb' moment only happened after my daughter, Megan, was born.  She is six now and from when she could move, talk, and even blink I realized that she had a mind of her own and would be D.E.T.E.R.M.I.N.E.D to show me who is boss (well, I had news for her...).  The more I argued, the more she dug her heels in.  The more I punished, the more she had to prove her point.  The more I explained, the more she negotiated.  It was a constant battle...until... I shifted my focus.  My role as a mother was to be her HERO.  As a teacher, we have the same role towards our students. 

So what did I do?  I focused on all the positive she was doing.  I did mention and offer an alternative for undesired behavior, but I focused on the positive.  Don't get me wrong, there were consequences for certain situations but I "picked my battles."  I focused on the good she was doing and not so much on the 'bad'.  She thrived off the positive reinforcement and therefore sought it out.  Asking for more responsibility, in order to show off her 'positive' skills.

Right, now how does this fit in with being your student's hero, you may ask?  The secret is... Focus on the Positive.

Adopt this attitude...

... and I can assure you that you will start looking at your students differently and they in turn, will look at you differently.

Find something in every child that is special, and focus on that.  No matter how naughty, rude, untidy or disruptive they are.  There WILL be something!  Focus on the positive.

Go out of your way to praise them for the tiniest things: the ability to share, tidy up, raise their hand, wait their turn, pick up papers, speak politely, hang their coat on the hook, hold the pencil correctly, creativity in the dolly corner, agility on the obstacle course, ability to balance on the beam... and so I can go on.

Make them feel like they matter!  Like you notice them!  Like they are special! Like you are truly happy to see them and have the privilege to know them!

(Am I going a bit far saying it is a privilege to know each of your students?  No.  If you find the positive in each child, you will realize that it IS a privilege to know each one of them!)

With some children you may need to dig deep to find the positive quality to praise, and you know what?  Those are the children that most often need it the most!

Be their HERO!  Make them matter!

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