Teach students to develop their own, personalised ten-second ‘victory dance’. Whenever you want to offer special praise to a student, clear a space at the front of the room (or install a podium if you have spare budget), pump up the bass and allow then to take their ten seconds of fame.
Teach students to reward fellow class-members for good work and good behaviour with a silent cheer. Offer spot prizes for the most dramatic and convincing exhibition of silent applause.
This is particularly useful during exam periods or when the teacher in the neighbouring classroom has expressed concern about the amount of fun your classes seem to have.
This is a whole-school approach to building a positive working environment as well as helping develop positive relationships between all staff and students. It is based on the principle that individual students’ efforts often get overlooked – particularly in a large setting. The strategy ensures that even the smallest improvements made by a student are noticed and acknowledged, potentially by EVERY member of staff.
“Hey Jonny, I hear you were very good in Maths this week, Well done mate, keep it up!”
“Great work today Jonny! A little bird told me you managed to get through a whole day without getting sent out of a single lesson. Brilliant! Isn’t it better when you’re not getting detention every day?”
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