How Can You Make Praise in the Classroom Effective?

Praise in the classroom is most effective when teachers recognize that students "work not for us, but with us and for themselves".

The same is true that we work with the administration and for ourselves to the benefit of others (students and parents). In order for our students to achieve to their potential, we must learn this concept and teach it to them.

When motivating and praising students, it's vital that we adopt a "work with" position.

Do you recognize the difference between "I'm proud of you" and "You should be proud of yourself" or "That pleases me" and "You did a good job"? The student may think it means that they did a lot better than you thought they would. You see, the emphasis of the praise comment should be the student, not the teacher.

When a teacher inspires to implement praise in the classroom, they allow students to develop standards that might exceed their own. When you continually use phrases such as "I'm proud of you", it doesn't motivate students. It sets new standards based on what they think you want, you like or know you dislike.

Being a teacher, you do realize that what you say to students is vital. When we use classroom praise, it can be encouraging and growth producing. Praising students can be stimulating and motivating. But remember, whenever we praise or give a compliment and is more self-serving than serving, the giver is also the intended receiver.

For best results, praise must be specific and it must be related to specific accomplishments. That's why it's imperative to remember that your students don't work for us, study for us, or learn for us. Rather, they work with us and we with them. However, they are working for their own self-improvement.

If you want to motivate students to attain their greatest potential, you must help them realize that they are working for themselves - to be the best they can possibly be.

You must realize that praise that is meaningful and specific and centered on the individual student helps us help students move in the right direction.

Praising students can also be done privately,on a one-on-one basis. In this process, you must explain specifically, not generally, how the student can improve their performance. Doing this as a motivational tool can create success.

With time and experience using praise in the classroom, hopefully will become second nature to you, using it sincerely, genuinely and meaningfully. Read my page on student motivation to get more insight and tips on praising students.

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