Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Notice the Positive

As I was watching my son's baseball games this weekend, my thoughts drifted back to school, which then led to my own life as a mom.  It's funny how things tend to connect together when it comes to kids.

Listening to the coach, I was reminded how positive and negative words can have such and impact on children.  More importantly, I was reminded about the fact that the positives have to outweigh the negatives. I constantly heard what the boys were doing wrong, where they needed to improve.  I rarely heard the positive pointed out.

It seems that in all parts of life it's easy to focus on the negative with kids, and then when they are doing the right thing, we're so thankful that we don't say anything at all.

That's the mistake. 

We need to acknowledge the right thing. We need to focus on the positive.  All kids want attention. All kids are going to seek attention whether they consciously do it or not. We need to let them know we see them. We need to let them know we notice them doing the right thing. 

In the classroom and at home, it may seem exhausting at first to always be pointing out the positive, but it pays off. It pays off for us as educators and parents, but more importantly it pays off for the kids. They feel noticed, valued, and they see that their efforts to do the right thing is appreciated. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Teacher is More Important

I'm getting tired of all the e-mails and advertisements about computer based programs guaranteed to increase student achievement.  It seems like as soon as common core standards rolled out and the new testing system was developed, all these companies jumped on the bandwagon with new programs to push into the classrooms.  They latched on to the anxiety of educators who were adapting to the new standards and made people believe that their program was needed in order to get results.  

Well guess what? They're not needed. Nothing beats quality first instruction from a teacher.

The more programs we throw at students in hopes to help achievement, the less time there actually is to teach.  And I firmly believe that nothing can replace an effective teacher. The teacher has the ability to form relationships, really know their students and what they need. Programs don't build relationships, teachers do. 

So before signing up for the latest program, stop and think: Is that really what my kids need? 
Believe in yourself and your ability.