Another teacher that I worked with was an inspiring lady--Mrs. K. The biggest lesson that she taught me through the years was actually after she retired from teaching. She was not ready to retire but health reasons made it difficult for her to continue. She had chosen to focus on the positive aspects and see the difficulty as what God had chosen for her to go through.
No matter how difficult the student’s behavior, she always found a way to find the positive. I deeply appreciate this as a parent of one of those students! She taught my son in fourth grade, and I have carried on this practice with my classes over the years. At times it was difficult to find the positive but praying for your students makes it so much easier to see the wonderful treasure inside of them. We live in such a negative world, and most people have an outlook of gloom. Finding the positive in every situation is imperative when it comes to teaching a room full of students. There are days in the classroom that teaching a new lesson is the easiest part of the whole day and dealing with students is the hardest.
Children today have so many burdens that they carry around, it is hard to get away from the negativity they see and hear constantly. Being aware of the need to focus on the positive is an important job of the teacher. There are countless ways to reinforce the positive behaviors that are expected. Rewards can come in all shapes and sizes. When choosing to reward your class, make it meaningful so they can connect the positive behavior with the reward. Look for what the students find rewarding and use that to your advantage. If the class does not care about extra recess that reward will not motivate them.
Finding ways to encourage your students each day is necessary for their mindset; if you praise their effort and encourage their ability you will reap rewards in the behavior they show. It has been said that some kids come to school to learn and others come to school to be loved. Mrs. K. most definitely taught me to love all of my students uniquely and individually, finding the positive treasure that God placed in each one of them.