- November 10, 2017 at 7:38 AM #39922
I was talking with another teacher recently and he mentioned that we need ways to honor students who work hard but do not have the ability to get As and Bs. I thought this was a great point. How can we encourage and recognize students who do their very best and learn as much as they can but get low grades?
- November 11, 2017 at 8:48 PM #39969
Any student who works hard and performs to the best of their ability deserves recognition. (Many times the easy learner is not working very hard and is not necessarily turning in his best work either.) My tendency would be to recognize this with a positive comment and/or a note of appreciation. Having an interest in them as individuals conveys to that student that they have value in your eyes.
We do not have an honor roll or special recognition for high grades so as far as effort goes the playing field should be even for all students.
I am cautious about rewarding students with a “participation prize” or similiar award just because they can’t make the grades of their classmates. After observing students over the years; I’m coming to the conclusion that we do students no favor if they are given credit (grade-wise or praise-wise) for unsatisfactory effort, just because they lack the ability of their neighbor.
However, take note of students who work hard. Write them a note that says “thank you for your good work”. Let them have the privilege of doing special things (errands, drill with younger students, design a bulletin board, put up art work, etc.) for the teacher.
- November 13, 2017 at 4:40 PM #39980
It is important to recognize the students that work hard but are rarely able to attain As and Bs. Like Carolyn mentioned, a note or positive comment can be affirming and motivating for the student. I will sometimes include a tangible reinforcement such as a piece of candy, a smiley face sticker or extra break time (“I can tell you really studied for that test. You have earned 5 extra minutes of recess for the class. Thank-you for your hard work!”)
- November 15, 2017 at 9:05 PM #41093
This is a great question. I like Carolyn and Crista’s comments. God’s “Well done!” is based on faithfulness, using well what we have been given, not success (or high scores, if you please). Years ago a highly challenged student in my room forced me to think about this question a lot; although no student was more diligent (faithful) than she, she was not able to compete score wise. So what are God’s thoughts? Who would God commend? Who really was being faithful? Out of my inner struggling with these questions grew a habit I continue to cultivate, that of regularly telling “character stories” highlighting the good qualities being shown in the classroom and on the playing ground. Acknowledging faithfulness in words, notes, and perhaps also other small tokens of appreciation go a long way. I believe celebrating faithfulness rather than high scores does reflect God’s character. As such, when we periodically set individual goals in specific subjects, they are all customized. I find students are very understanding of this. When I ask them to set what they think would be a good goal for themselves (which I then review with them), I have never heard complaints that some are held to a higher goal. Hearing such comments would be an invitation to draw them aside to discuss the meaning of faithfulness and diligence.
- November 20, 2017 at 5:18 PM #41262
Thanks for the comments, folks!
I really like the idea of setting individual goals.
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