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Persephone's Message:

I guess I'm a horrible teacher.
If a kid is misbehaving, I have zero tolerance and I tell them to stop it.
I don't have time to make things sound all sugary sweet when a kid is totally disrupting my class.

Now, when kids are working, helping each other, and being enthusiastic, I am Ms. Gusher. I shower them with compliments on their hard work and great attitudes and I tell them how proud I am and how they should be proud of themselves.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
SweetTea 11-11-2017 05:50 PM

Let's get the tally going for any positive comments from administration to teachers. Hopefully all the snowflakes and rosebuds we praise will be able to handle correctionl in the workplace some day when they grow up.

shenik 11-02-2017 07:44 AM

Our school has been doing Positive Behavior for several years. Some students respond to this, others don't even hear your positive remarks. It is way past time that we start focusing on what's wrong, instead of making excuses and trying to patch up our education system. This is almost as bad as giving every....yes, I said...EVERY student an award at Award's DAy.....really?? What are we teaching our future leaders. OH>>>yes, I know what we are teaching them....You will always get something for doing what's won't....You do what's right sometimes just because it is the right thing to do or say. Some children today have no clue what that's like because they are always given something as a reward. My heart hurts for these children when they are adults. It is no always a bed of roses for sure....Our education system today is almost like the teachers are the ones trying to pass a score and the children are just being's awful....I'm so tired of seeing great teachers break down because of stress and more stress....when is it every going to end?

Ucan 10-24-2017 07:57 AM

You hit it on the head! It seems that the most hair-brained ideas always have a way of working their way into our schools. The sooner we accept our new role as mere automatons, the easier it will be to continue on to retirement. Don't fight it, but embrace every new initiative and you'll be OK.

Loveslabs 10-23-2017 01:10 PM

Today I tried to give at least one positive praise per minute. I kept having to interrupt myself which kept causing me to lose my focus. Finally, one of my smartest and funniest students raised her hand and asked me if I was ok. I asked her why, and she said, ďBecause you keep saying stupid stuff. Can we just get on with the lesson?Ē

HoHumBeachBum 10-23-2017 05:31 AM

In that case, I expect the students to compliment me for the work I give them and praise me for the effort I put forth in order to teach them. Students will no longer be permitted to do the following (but not limited to):

--speak negatively about an assignment,
--show reluctance to get out of the seat in order to transition from one activity to another,
--huff, puff, moan, and make other annoying sound effects

I will be holding a click counter to document those actions should they choose to display them.

Mrs. S. 10-22-2017 02:00 PM

This is a big part of the new cr$# my school is pushing. Before anyone jumps in, I use this technique frequently, mostly because I've been told to do so. However, it feels very fake.

The really wrong part is that we are praising kids for doing what they are supposed to do. You are supposed to do those things because it is the right thing to do to learn, not because you receive praise for it.

The other part is that some kids need to hear a direct command from the teacher to respond. John is not paying any attention to me praising Susie but what John does here is "John! Put your pencil away and eyes on me!" That's what works for John. Good teachers figure out which kids need constant positive and which kids need direct commands. Sometimes kids need both but the average observer in my class isn't going to know that.

I'm guessing they told you how many compliments to give each student each day as well. There was a collective jaw drop at my school because we all thought we were there to teach.

However, as a PP said, if they come to click, I'll keep them busy with fake positive compliments for everything from having their feet on the floor to smiling at their neighbor. Sorry, meant to say, you should keep them busy. So far, we have not resorted to clicking here and I don't see that coming. I'll let you know once I've been observed!

Summerwillcom 10-22-2017 11:36 AM

and tally something like that while some of us have a ton of kids to teach. They need to really do something productive and quit wasting $$ and time like that! If you could use that person(admin) as a tutor, at least 1 kid would learn something from them being in your room.
The specific praise works and direct instructions like sit down,stop ____ work for different types of kids at different times. Picture Johnny pulling the fire alarm and some1 says : I like the way most of you are walking w/ your hands to your sides. ... Ignoring the pull of the fire alarm!
Some admin treat teachers like morons. It is idiotic to waste time tallying how many times a teacher uses direct praise or anything. I am sorry you work w/ such a person. When I was younger, I remember "playing the game" in situations like that too. As I get, I seriously ( for the most part) don't. We have a different type of admin though too. Good luck! Maybe the tallying will stop and you can get back to teaching!

JanetL 10-22-2017 08:53 AM

Another reason I am glad to be retired!

catandturtle 10-22-2017 07:41 AM

How ridiculous.

teachcarolina 10-22-2017 07:02 AM

Just more proof that there are way too many cushy jobs at the top. They are thinking up stuff for us to do because they don't really have a purpose!!! Job justification at its finest! My school did the same type of thing some years back. We couldn't say, "No talking", but had to say, "We are on quiet time." We had to tell them what to do, not what they couldn't do. I had this sweet kid one day who said, "Why are you saying it like that?" when I was going over the things they should be doing in the restroom. When I explained why, and I told them that we had to be "positive", the kid shook his head and said that kids usually just need to be told what they shouldn't do. I find that kids are often smarter than the adults making all of this ridiculous stuff up for us to do.

austeach 10-22-2017 05:14 AM

I agree with some positive praise, but it sounds like the teacher should be talking nonstop. I have teammates that never stop talking. I can't imagine being in their classrooms. I like to keep mine quieter and keep extra talking to a minimum. Not everyone(kids included) like constant noise!

Loveslabs 10-22-2017 05:13 AM

Packfan, I like how you are sharing your feelings with us on PT.

People responding to Packfan, I like how you are all sharing your feelings and experiences.

Thank you, Packfan, for showing me Iím not the only teacher on this planet being told what to do so my P has data to collect.

Ok, now Iím going to go figure out how to help my students regulate themselves. Starting tomorrow Iím supposed to incorporate three things a day to help my students regulate themselves. Principal will be doing walk throughs to see if students are regulated. And engaged. And if they can state the learning target. And do I have a mini assessment each day for every standard I teach each day, so I can plan the next lesson based on the needs of my students. And am I teaching whole group, small group, and one on one for every lesson. And do I have written documentation every day for each student with an IEP or RTI. Etc. Etc. Etc.

happygal 10-21-2017 08:25 PM

To know is where are the compliments for the teachers? How about encouraging teachers? How about trusting them and their training, experience, and talent.

Standardizing makes robots. Do we really want robitotic adults?

Why aren't teachers assisted by principals instead of intimidated by them. If I ever become a principal you will find me with my sleeves rolled up working alongside my teachers

Persephone 10-21-2017 07:50 PM

I guess I'm a horrible teacher.
If a kid is misbehaving, I have zero tolerance and I tell them to stop it.
I don't have time to make things sound all sugary sweet when a kid is totally disrupting my class.

Now, when kids are working, helping each other, and being enthusiastic, I am Ms. Gusher. I shower them with compliments on their hard work and great attitudes and I tell them how proud I am and how they should be proud of themselves.

Been There 10-21-2017 06:26 PM

Dictatorial administrators love to impose their directives on teachers without any discussion or input. Since they are such devotees of data-driven initiatives, I would want to know what baseline data has been collected prior to having everyone march lockstep in a new direction. How else will anyone know if the embracement of Specific Positive Praise has any positive effect? (schools often fail to adequately assess before and after) Have classroom management systems currently in used been found to be ineffective?

Why don't all the teachers collectively confront the principal at the next staff meeting with their concerns instead of just automatically accepting any hair-brained (PBIS) program that is shoved in their faces?

happygal 10-21-2017 06:24 PM

I have one word for them...


Catdog12 10-21-2017 04:03 PM

"Nothing is impossible for the one that doesn't have to do it!"

I'm just rolling my eyes at this new way to "improve" the classroom. Good luck!

TheTrunch 10-21-2017 03:40 PM

I was trained in that behavior method over 30 years ago. It went like this when you noticed a misbehavior or a lack of following directions:

1. First State the rule or direction.
2. Second Compliment someone in the class for following the rule or direction. (Oh thank you susan for getting your math book out.
3. Third Compliment the person who is following the direction or behavior that is closest or right next to the student. (Thank you xxx for xxx.
4. Last resort, Give student who will still not conform a consequence. In those days, we used the Steps.
Listed were Rules xxxx Consequences XXX Step One xx Step Two xxx Step Three xxx ... and the kids got to start over daily.

Nowadays "they" just want you to dole out the praise nonstop for no reason at all. Some of "them" want you to invent praise in order to motivate the kid. For example, "Oh, lazyboy, I see you have your pencil in your hand. That's great. You're ready to write. No mention that the rest of the class has been writing for 15 minutes. UGH

Peaches Pears 10-21-2017 02:17 PM

Teachers, myself included, use both types of comments.

Teaching is a decision every minute --- sometimes you say "Susie is sitting nicely" and sometimes you need to say "Put the pencil away, sit up straight and pay attention."

And someone will be coming in to my room, timing me and tallying every positive and "negative" praise I give.

And making a data sheet including all the teachers in the school.

And sharing that data in a staff meeting.
That's your tax dollars at work.
broomrider 10-21-2017 02:06 PM

I'd be sorely tempted to post a form in the staff room with tally marks to indicate specific direct praise given by an administrator to a staff member. Not sure how long it would stay up or if a handwriting sample would be requested from staff by administration.

I would seriously question the use a para in the observation, not qualified to participate in evaluations. And the data would be used in evaluations, I'm guessing.

Renea 10-21-2017 02:05 PM

"Suzy, I like how you are sitting up straight"
"Thank you, Joe, for listening carefully"
"Bobby, you are being so helpful to your partner, thank you"
. I did this when I taught second graders for decades. It felt positive and worked perfectly with younger students. In no way did it feel fake because I was pointing out real behavior. Most kids wanted to match the praised behavior.

I never said, "I'm so proud of Alice for sitting up and listing." I never made the praise about pleasing me, the teacher.

Not certain how it goes over with older children but I appreciated the atmosphere of pointing out what appropriate behavior looks like. We taught Boys Town Behavior Skills and being positive blended nicely with those skills taught.
Guest5512 10-21-2017 01:40 PM

In our school, theyíve asked a para to do the observations - even given her a clicker so she can tally the number of positive praises given in a ten minute period.

So the list of who gets to oversee and evaluate our performance grows even longer! No need to be a certified teacher to tell us how to do our job. Politicians, parents, paras, anyone with an opinion.... This is getting ridiculous!

arsabl 10-21-2017 01:30 PM

So...if the teacher has to do this new phrasing of praise...will the teacher also experience the same phrasing from administration?

Teacher Q, I am so pleased to see you turned in your data file on time today!

Teacher B, thank you for using your inside voice during the hectic staff meeting today.

Penguin82 10-21-2017 12:32 PM

I think the praise should be less about you, and more about what the child is doing.

For example, my praise looks like this:

"Tony has his pencil out and is looking at the board That shows responsibility."

"Thank you Mary for showing the class what patience looks like. She is standing in line and waiting her turn. That shows patience."

"Mark is sitting cross cross with his hands in his lap. He is showing me he is ready to listen to the story."

Those praises show the desired behavior. The kids in my school respond really fast to this. They love the attention they get and they know what's expected.

I can't see using it every minute, but definitely a few times in a ten minute period.

Instead of "I like" try "I notice"

"I notice that Jane is--- thank you Jane!"

Haley23 10-21-2017 12:17 PM

You know what's funny? We're now being instructed to do the exact opposite. We've been told that saying things like, "I like how Johnny is sitting" is too "passive." Also saying something like, "Please walk in the hallway" and saying "thank you" after the student complies is passive.

We're supposed to give "assertive" directions, which are direct statements explaining exactly what you want the students to do, basically like your examples of what you're not allowed to say anymore. For example, "Turn around and face me," or "Sit here."

We're also dinged for giving "aggressive" directions, such as "What did I just ask everyone to do?" (which I admit, I am so guilty of!)

Our admin does walkthroughs and marks the number of passive, assertive, and aggressive directions we give .

anna 10-21-2017 11:47 AM

I agree with specific praise however forced from the teacher and data collected from an observation is counter productive

MKat 10-21-2017 11:28 AM

One a minute seems like a realistic goal for the beginning of the year primary classroom or a classroom that is struggling, but I would expect higher level classrooms to function without that much constant teacher direction. And I would certainly expect students to listen to more than a minute of instruction without stopping to praise! That much teacher focus on praise could get in the way of a high functioning classroom IMO. Isn't the goal student independence?

desert flower 10-21-2017 10:24 AM

I don't think the pendulum is ever swinging back! So sorry for you all. Ridiculous!

eliza4one 10-21-2017 10:22 AM

I could give one praise a minute if a person is in the room tallying me. Otherwise, I will use my limited time for instruction.
Exactly! It's called playing the game, lol.
eliza4one 10-21-2017 10:19 AM

I use both and and not afraid to admit it. Sometimes, a student needs to know he/she is not doing the right thing and the expectation is that he/she do the right thing. Randomly praising another student may or may not get the student doing the wrong thing to do the right thing. However, my specifically reminding a specific student to do the right thing pretty much always works. I do what works.

As for your situation, I'd continue doing what works when admin isn't in your room. When they are in your room, make it a point to do what they have asked.

There are times when I walk about the room and say things like, "I like how you are working hard" or "I like how you are on task" or whatever. I can easily get in 10-12 positive statements in less than 1 minute, lol! And mine aren't fake! I truly do like what I see and am not afraid to let students know it.

At the same time, I'm not afraid to state my displeasure, either.

I refuse to do something that I don't believe is in the best interest of students/learning. I'll do it when being observed, but the rest of the time, I do what works for me.

My students love me, so I'm not too worried about having scarred them, lol.

PrivateEyes 10-21-2017 10:05 AM

I could give one praise a minute if a person is in the room tallying me. Otherwise, I will use my limited time for instruction.

PackFan32 10-21-2017 10:02 AM

It's not about giving positive praise. I'm fine with that.

It's that we have to give one every minute. Literally. That often. And someone will be coming in to my room, timing me and tallying every positive and "negative" praise I give.

And making a data sheet including all the teachers in the school.

And sharing that data in a staff meeting.

GreyhoundGirl 10-21-2017 09:56 AM

I actually find that gets me farther with the class than nagging and yelling (although I do plenty of that too ).

I say, "I really like how Johnny is sitting up straight". "Adam had his desk cleared off and is ready to go." Things like that. If I follow it with a Dojo point I get even farther.

PackFan32 10-21-2017 09:40 AM

I agree with you. It's just what we were told. It's because we are pointing out what they are doing wrong. We are now to only use positive praise.
"put your pencil away" means, "you have your pencil out and you aren't supposed to" and we might upset students by verbally and in front of the whole class, pointing them out for doing the wrong thing.
"Those students" will supposedly start behaving correctly when I Positively Praise others....

eeza 10-21-2017 09:29 AM

"Sit up", "Stop talking" "Pay attention" "Put your pencil away"
Other than 'stop talking', how are the other ones negative? You are telling them what they should be doing. I don't see anything wrong with the other three.
dutchgirl 10-21-2017 08:48 AM

Is there any research showing the effectiveness of this or is this a way to get teachers to quit? Geez. 1 a minute. Tally the number of minutes it takes out of your teaching time or the interruptions to lessons.

Mshope 10-21-2017 08:47 AM

Will teachers get a reward if they do this? Maybe a ticket or shiny pencil?

I hate nothing more than fake praise. I just can't do it. It's like when some kid scribbles a picture and expects me to fall over praising their drawings. I will encourage them, but I am not going to LIE to them.

When does this stop? We have to give out these vouchers to kids who basically don't beat up or bully anyone this week. Next week, it is something else. My favorite was the week when we were supposed to find a kid picking up garbage in the hall. It was kind of ridiculous to expect people to stop in the middle of a crowd and get knocked over picking up garbage!

I really wonder what is next.

PackFan32 10-21-2017 08:38 AM

(That should say Something else...sheesh) we have to give Specific Positive Praise.

"Suzy, I like how you are sitting up straight"
"Thank you Joe, for listening carefully"
"Bobby, you are being so helpful to your partner, thank you"

We need to eliminate "Sit up", "Stop talking" "Pay attention" "Put your pencil away"

Because these are all negative. Seriously.

When asked how often we should be giving this Specific Positive Praise, we were told...

"Oh, about one a minute." wait, what? seriously? Praise a different student every minute of the day? The whole day?

"Well, yes, that shouldn't be too hard, right? You could do 3 every 3 minutes if that helps..."

This might be the straw, folks...

Oh yeah...and they will be doing random observations and tallying how many we give. And making a spreadsheet. And sharing the data with the school at a future meeting...

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