“In the long run, a teacher who continually praises what’s expected risks trivializing both the praise and the things she really wishes to label ‘great’.”
KEY IDEA: Positive reinforcement is one of the most powerful tools in every classroom.
In using positive reinforcement, follow these rules of thumb for Precise Praise:
· Differentiate acknowledgment and praise. Praising students for doing the expected is, in the long run, not just ineffective but destructive. Recent research demonstrates that students have come to interpret frequent praise as a sign that they are doing poorly and need encouragement from their teacher.
· Praise (and acknowledge) loud; fix soft. Praise as specifically as possible and focus on exactly the behavior and action that you would like to see more of. Praise for working hard and not for being smart.
· Praise must be genuine.
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)