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Remind Students You Believe in Them


Social-Emotional Learning/Growth Mindset All Ages Strategy



Remind Students You Believe in Them

You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it. Because, remember - that's where you'll find success - on the far side of failure.
— Thomas Watson

It is natural for every student to feel self-doubt at times, even if they don't show it, so be sure to provide continuous reminders that you believe in their ability to succeed.

How To Apply It!

  1. Provide reassurance to students, even if they do not express self-doubt. If appropriate, remind them that self-doubt is natural and will diminish with age and experience. Refrain from prolonging discussion, however, unless they want to discuss.
  2. Take note of how you give feedback. Start with the positive. A good rule of thumb is three compliments for any type of criticism.
  3. All feedback, both positive and negative, should be focused on the work and not the person. Focusing on the student (e.g. "You didn't try," vs. the more appropriate, "This is not your best work because...") can negatively impact self-esteem.
  4. Encourage students to view feedback as your belief in their ability to succeed. Your feedback is based on what you believe they are capable of improving upon. Sincerity is key. Adults can under-estimate students' ability to detect insincerity but sincerity is key to a trusting relationship that motivates students.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Adults might not always realize the impact of their words on students' self-esteem, but research shows that adult relationships are key to developing students' self-esteem and motivation. Adults want to provide authentic encouraging feedback that will challenge a student while engendering trust through sincerity.