As a teacher I love to see when my students reward themselves intrinsically with self-pride. The kind you see when they smile because they succeeded in accomplishing a learning goal or project. This intrinsic self-pride encourages students to keep working hard and is inspirational to others. As teachers, we have the unspoken job requirement of inspiring our students to find their own intrinsic self-pride. Self-pride is a learned behavior. I help my students recognize when they have done an outstanding job, and when they have led learning amongst their peers.
Here are my top five techniques to support my students as they develop their own intrinsic self-pride:
- I contact my students outside of the classroom with emails, phone calls, postcards, etc. In that contact time, I communicate with them about their outstanding work. I thank them for setting a good example for their classmates.
- I verbally praise a job well done in front of their classmates and/or parents (whichever is appropriate).
- I write comments on their paper highlighting the specific area they did well in.
- I award them a certificate specific to their assignment well-done. A certificate template can be downloaded and amended to reflect the students’ outstanding work.
- I ask them if I can use their work as an example to others.
Dr. Rebecca Reynolds began as an Early Childhood teacher, with a love for low-income families of the American Federal Head Start. She directed Head Start and Early Education programs and taught Kindergarten teaching Russian-speaking children. She also taught a mixed-age classroom of children with Down Syndrome. With a 25-year career in Early Childhood/Special Ed, she inspires adult learners in workshops and college classes to think strategically to inspire their own students, while traveling worldwide giving workshops inspiring other educators to keep motivated with a positive attitude. Dr. Reynolds earned her BA of Applied Behavioral Science at National Louis University then earned her MA of Early Childhood Education–Special Ed at Roosevelt University and her doctorate in Educational Leadership at University of Phoenix.