Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Reader Asks... Keeping It Real

A LYS Teacher asks the following question:


What is the best way to keep Recognition & Reinforcement genuine?

SC Response
Good question.  A lot of teachers are hesitant to work on increasing the quantity of Recognition & Reinforcement they provide in fear of sounding “fake.”  Here are a couple of ways to move past this fear/feeling.

1. Spend more time in the Power Zone.  The more time you spend in the Power Zone the more often you will observe a student doing something that warrants Recognition & Reinforcement.  This immediacy lends itself to being genuine. 

2. Focus on growth.  Waiting to recognize perfection most likely means that recognition is infrequent.  Instead focus on the journey.  As you observe students making forward progress towards success, recognize that. Praising a 72 rings false.  Recognizing the 4-point gain from a 68 to a 72 is legitimate.

3. Look for sweat equity.  Remember “Reinforcement” is the reinforcement of the work it takes to achieve academic success or growth.  When you observe students working hard, point it out to them.  Remind them that the harder they work the closer they are getting to success they want. 

4. Keep doing it.  The more you Recognize & Reinforce your students, the more natural the words will roll off your tongue. 

But here is the most important thing to remember as you endeavor to increase the amount of authentic Recognition & Reinforcement that you provide to all of your students.  This occurs so infrequently in the typical classroom that when you do it, your students will find it so novel they won’t care how it sounds. They will just like it.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
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