#eduwin Changing student self image through positive talk

Student self imageThere is always one. Sometimes more. The challenging kids that show up with reputations and rap sheets.

My strategy is to talk up a positive year, right from the start. Focus on the good, build up the image of a positive individual, delight in achievements, focus on the feeling of legitimate accomplishment. Use lots of positive and focused language, "It is going to be a good year. It is a good year." Make it so the child himself starts to see himself in those terms.

I also focus on changing other's attitudes. Intervene when others, kids and adults, perpetuate negative images and talk up the good. Advocate for the child, stand in their corner. Shore up the positive image with their successes.

When these kids do something well I often ask, "How does that feel?" Many times the answer is just, "good", but occasionally it's this:

It feels different than last year. I was slacking off a lot. This feels good, Like when you buy something it only feels good for a couple of days but when you do something good, you feel good for a long time.

They're going to mess up occasionally, they'll fail at times. But keep filling the cup with positive, it will displace the negative, and a comment like that can feed your soul for a long, long time.

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