No matter you are a teacher or a parent, when you start educating your students or children you can always hear a term from others: positive guidance. Because of the positive education focuses on an individual’s strengths, tendencies, and goals. This term is also highly recommended by colleagues after I started my career as a Chinese teacher. About positive education, I would like to share some stories from my daily teaching experiences.
By offering a less rigid scale for students to compare themselves with other students.
The third-grade class which I just began teaching had a naughty boy, who really liked to attract his classmates’ attention by making weird and funny faces. His dictation score was low, and it was nearly impossible for him to recite a short story. After a discussion with other teachers, I started using positive guidance on him. If he couldn’t recite a text, I let him read it first and praised his improvement in fluency in front of the whole class. This compliment was just the first step. Then, when I was explaining certain Chinese characters, I left the instructions of the radicals that he understood to him to explain to the class and commented that he was a good teacher. After three trials, whenever I started reading text or explaining characters, he looked at me with desire in his eyes. He became more focused than he used to be under my positive guidance.
One of the most important things you can encourage a child with one simple word in the classroom.
In my pilot class, I taught them the Chinese version of “bravo” in the second class. So, whenever they answered questions correctly, I would say “bravo” in Chinese and thumbed up. With this positive feedback from me, students were more willing to answer questions even though they were not so sure about some of them.
Express Empathy -- Attitude change attempts are gentle, subtle and change is up to the student.
My pilot class had a student named David. He was the “problematic” kind in other teachers’ eyes, which means that he received less attention than other students did. So my colleagues and I taught him how to write his name in Chinese during the third pilot class, and promised to check his progress as soon as the next class began. This small and somewhat “biased” attention encouraged him to focus more on his work and proudly show it to others.
Every positive education like a magic case, I have lots of stories about positive education, and most of the time, I succeeded. As a not-so-professional educator, I always emailed senior colleagues for suggestions and advice. They taught me a lot about teaching, and their words were like magic: they changed both me and students and made the entire teaching easier.