As my daughter and I reviewed her spelling list today, I found a new motivational tool.
After each word she spelled wrong, I heard myself saying “No, try again.” If she spelled a word right, I immediately said the next word from the list. About halfway through the list, I paused. Why was I saying no when she missed a word and offering no praise when she spelled a word correctly? I began saying yes when she spelled a word correctly, and we finished the list with over 20 correctly spelled words and only two incorrect responses. She should have heard 20 times, “Well done! Good work! Great job!”
By nature, I am a pessimistic person. Yet my students at home need to hear positive reinforcement and praise. These tools make our day more pleasant and produce a positive learning environment. As I praise them, they strive to work even harder and bask in the praise from their teacher. I know this principle works for my son, and I vow to make a conscious effort to offer more praise throughout our day!
My son’s speech therapist first introduces this concept to me. As she praises him for correct responses, he works harder and calms down quickly after wrong responses. I am grateful for the power of praise and for the reminder that encouragement benefits both me and my students at home.