Silver Lining

As a life long “goodie goodie” there are some gaps that I struggle to overcome as a teacher. It was not until recently that I came to fully grasp the ideas of positive reinforcement and how critical it is to student success.

In general, I am intrinsically motivated, but this does not mean I am not human. When someone says something negative or critiques us in some way, I realized that deep down part of me wanted to scream, “Yes, BUT… look at all the good I have done. Look how hard I work. Look how successful I’ve been in these other areas! Give me some credit.” But by the end of the thought, it is not screaming but a pathetic whimper begging in vain to be acknowledged.

I understand this may be common sense to many, but for me, this is a very novel realization.

I’ve realized that I need to work twice as hard (at least!) at congratulating students on their hard work and accomplishments, great or small. This could be for papers, projects, participation and more and it will not be easy but I finally “get it”.  Overall, it turns out that this has been a tremendously helpful and inspiring situation. Thanks for listening. 🙂


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