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Keeping the Focus on the Positive

boy positive attitudeIn focusing on the positive, teachers can foster better academic and personal outcomes for students.

Nina Parrish, a special educator with seven years’ experience as a public school teacher and seven more as a private tutor writes in article published in Edutopia that, “focusing on the positive” is one of her most effective teaching techniques.

“When I was a classroom teacher,” said Parrish, “I was frequently surrounded by problems that could feel insurmountable: seemingly unattainable standards, hours of meetings, mountains of paperwork, and more.”

“I found that choosing to focus on these negative things resulted in my feeling frustrated and depleted—burned out. And I realized that often our students who struggle in school are focused on negatives too: Because of academic or behavioral challenges, they come to school every day and have a bad experience.”

Her recommendations for changing this dynamic include:

  • Being a cheerleader instead of a critic. Make an effort to focus on positive behavior.
  • Being an observer. Students who struggle immensely with academics are often very talented and motivated in other areas.
  • Finding ways to link strengths to academics. Look for a way to connect what a student struggles with to a skill they already possess.
  • Making academics more accessible. Parrish uses creativity and assistive technology to bridge the gap between talents and academics.

Read the full article on Edutopia, a program of the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Source: Edutopia | Keeping the Focus on the Positive, https://www.edutopia.org/article/keeping-focus-positive | ©2018 Edutopia.org; George Lucas Educational Foundation

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