When someone tells you that you’re an amazing educator, how does that feel? Fantastic, right? Anytime someone tells us we are doing a great job, it feels good. It motivates us to keep going and continuing doing great things.
That is one question I most often get from other educators, “how can I motivate my students?”. It’s a great question and my most common answer is a relatively simple one. Praise. Educator praise is one of the great (and easiest) ways to motivate your students. Research shows that if we praise our students twice as much as we criticize them, they will improve their performance and behavior. Tell your students when they are doing great! It’s simple, what gets praised and acknowledged gets repeated! Notice students doing things right and then tell them about it.
Here are 3 strategies you can follow for effective praise.
Do It Now! When you see it, tell them – NOW! Praise is a lot like Champagne. Champagne tastes best when it is still bubbling, so does praise!
Be Specific. Don’t simply give a “good job” and leave it there. Let them know exactly what made it a good job. Tell them exactly what you like and are excited about.
Connect it to your feelings. Don’t be a robot. Let them see that you are genuinely excited about their performance or behavior! It will mean so much more when they see you are personally invested in them as students.
Keep in mind, is that praise doesn’t always have to be verbal or even in person.
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.