These are techniques for reinforcing your students’ strengths and giving them expression, both in the classroom with other children and in everyday life at home.
Because it is not enough to identify and find strengths; we need to do something about it! And it is up to us, the teachers and parents!
So, what do we do?
- Attach a Relevant Task to the Strength:
If you discover that Ronnie has a talent for writing, for example, you might recommend that he write for the school newspaper and interview students/teachers. If Amy has a talent for drawing, appoint her to the class decoration committee. If Neil is well-organized, you might arrange for him to be responsible for events/ productions/end of year parties/extracurricular activities. If Danielle is drawn to music, recommended she be the DJ during recess.
You'll be surprised how much the children will naturally be drawn to do the things you recommend, and how much they will persist in them. And suddenly a wonderful thing will happen: their self-confidence will improve, their motivation in other areas of school will increase, and their social situation will be get better!
- Public Exposure:
Share the child’s strength with the rest of the class/audience/ friends/family members and explain that this is why you gave him or her a particular role. Expose others to the subject, so that they know what they are facing. Children can spend a lot of time together and yet know very little about each other, especially their strengths. They may only know things about each other that are on the surface and are very visible. Now they have the opportunity to get to know each other better and find out what they are each good at.
When I talk about visibility, I am referring to certificates, medals, photos. Hang awards/trophies/certificates of excellence/photos on the wall of the classroom or on walls at home.... all these remind children, even during the hardest times, what makes them feel good!
- Positive Reinforcement and Compliments
Taken from our accredited online course for teachers:
The Freedom to Be Me.
For more details about our Online Graduate Continuing Education Courses for Teachers click here.