Praise: it’s the simple things.

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I don’t often post about the more theoretical side of pedagogy, however a colleague suggested a tip this week so simple that I hadn’t thought of it before. A particularly rowdy group of Year 10 pupils of mine often take time to settle, which often results in strikes (similar to demerits etc) for those simply not following instructions. I think this is quite a common reflex reaction from teachers who ‘just want them to get in and get on with the work’. My colleague suggested simply writing the names on the positive side of board of the children who had their books out and praising them. It’s obvious, but slowly and surely, the group settled onto the task in pretty much the same time as if I had reprimanded those not following my (at times ‘barked’) orders. The result? A board full of positive names, no strikes, a nice buzz in the room and pupils on task. Simple.

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