Erick, Online English teacher and business counsellor at Acadsoc.
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Part of being a teacher is being able to motivate students through the many adversities that they face in the classroom. For students, teachers are the first point of reference when determining their progress or failure in a particular aspect of their studies. It is vital for teachers to know how to give remarks that are not only honest but remarks that are encouraging as well. There are five critical areas of focus when teachers give remarks to students.
A student’s attitude is a very important indicator of a student’s willingness to learn and participate. If a student is not polite, it is easy to consider that as their disinterest, but in most cases, it is due to the frustrations that the student experiences when trying their best but failing. As a teacher, leaving remarks such as: “I can see that you are trying your best, don’t be too hard on yourself. Well done”, can definitely help improve a student’s attitude.
Behaviour is closely linked with attitude, and it is important to highlight that a student with a positive behaviour can have a bad attitude. When stressing attitude in your remarks, you can say that the student is ‘very involved and enthusiastic’, the student is constantly ‘challenging himself/herself’ or the student ‘tries their best at all times’. These remarks, although linked to attitude, highlight a positive outlook and give students that extra boost to keep trying their best in the class.
When it comes to communicating answers or questions, students can have a variety of issues because of the fear of being wrong or feeling inadequate compared to other students. The way in which a teacher can assist the student with helpful remarks based on communication is if the teacher uses remarks such as: ‘The student ‘can address issues and concerns effectively’, the student is able ‘to provide a range of ideas that can assist in the betterment of his/her learning’ or the student ‘can provide reasons for their answers (even when wrong) and that is very good’. These remarks promote engagement and that provides a valuable experience for everyone in the long-run.
Many students are shy in the classroom so it is imperative to highlight every effort they make to participate. Keep in mind that participation leads to effective communication. Use remarks that will entice students to want to engage in the next class, no matter how little or unresponsive they were in the class.
Time management is directly linked to participation. Highlighting the fact that you notice that the student is always early in the class means that they can look forward to their next lesson and often puts them in a good mood and leaves them wanting to do more than is required of them.
Teacher, remember to place remarks that focus on positivity despite the faults that a student may have.