Building a Relationship with Students to Increase Learning in the Classroom

Articles

5 Tips for Better Relationships With Your Students – NEA

Featured article: Unconditional Positive Regard and Effective School Discipline By Dr. Eric Rossen

The Teacher as Warm Demander by Elizabeth Bondy and Dorene D. Ross

Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems by Mark Boynton and Christine Boynton

The Power of Positive Regard by Jeffrey Benson

Building Positive Teacher-Child Relationships– CSEFEL

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Unconditional Positive Regard 

Carl Rogers described unconditional positive regard (UPR) as love and acceptance that are not dependent upon any particular behaviors. He often used the term “prizing” as shorthand for this feature of a relationship. According to Rogers, prizing is particularly important in the parent-child relationship.

Unconditional Positive Regard 

Carl Rogers described unconditional positive regard (UPR) as love and acceptance that are not dependent upon any particular behaviors. He often used the term “prizing” as shorthand for this feature of a relationship. According to Rogers, prizing is particularly important in the parent-child relationship. Rogers argued that children who are prized by their parents experience a greater sense of congruence, have a better chance to self-actualize, and have are more likely to become fully functioning people than those whose parents raise them under “conditions of worth.”

Unconditional positive regard is also a crucial component of Rogers’ approach to psychotherapy. In fact, along with empathy and genuineness, Rogers asserted that UPR was one of the necessary and sufficient elements for positive psychotherapeutic change. When Rogers described UPR as “necessary,” he communicated that an unconditionally accepting and warm relationship between therapist and client is a prerequisite for therapy to be effective. This assertion is not particularly shocking; most individuals seeing a therapist would probably expect the therapist to have this type of nonjudgmental attitude, and would also probably expect therapy to progress poorly if the therapist was in fact judgmental or conditionally disapproving. When Rogers described UPR as “sufficient,” however, he made a bolder statement. The term “sufficient” suggests that if a therapist provides UPR, along with empathy and genuineness, to a client, the client will improve. No additional techniques or strategies are needed. The therapist need not analyze any dreams, change any thought patterns, punish or reward any behaviors, or offer any interpretations. Instead, in the context of this humanistic therapy relationship, the client will heal himself or herself by growing in a self-actualizing direction, thereby achieving greater congruence. This “necessary and sufficient” claim holds true, according to Rogers, regardless of the diagnosis or severity of the client’s problem.

In addition to the parent-child and therapist-client relationship, Rogers also considered the value of UPR in other relationships and situations. For example, he spent significant time and energy discussing the role that UPR might play in education, and in the teacher-student relationship in particular. Rogers criticized the mainstream American educational system as overly conditional. He believed that educators too often used the threat of poor grades to motivate students, and that students felt prized only when they performed up to educators’ standards (as measured by grades on exams, papers, etc.). He further believed that students may emerge from school having learned some essential academic skills, but also having learned that they are not trustworthy, that they lack internal motivation toward learning, and that only the aspects of themselves that meet particular academic criteria are worthy.

Rogers strongly recommended that teachers and administrators take a more humanistic and less conditional approach to education. He argued that UPR in schools would communicate to children that they are worthy no matter what; as a result, their sense of congruence and their tendency toward self-actualization would remain intact. Students, according to Rogers, should be trusted to a greater extent to follow their own interests and set to their own academic goals. Rather than threatening students to study for exams and write papers in which they have little interest, prize them wholly and allow them greater freedom to choose that which they want to pursue. Advocates of Rogers’ humanistic approach to education argue that it would enhance students’ self-worth, which in turn may preclude many of the psychological and social problems that children encounter. Critics of Rogers’ humanistic approach to education argue that without conditions of worth based on academic achievement, students would have no provocation to learn, and would demonstrate lethargy rather than self-motivation.

Andrew M. Pomerantz, Ph. D.

 

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Giving Students The Words to Build a Positive Mindset

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I feel that now more then ever a balance needs to be set for students in building their own sense of well being in times of adversity. Many students are aware of their deficits and often times lose sight of the greater goals of retaining a balanced view of themselves over the perceived expectations and judgments teachers and parents may project on to their young learners. As a parent and educator, I am guilty of this as well. In an effort to bring more positivity to those I encounter, I wrote this post to help myself and others better cultivate positive mindset ideas and practices. In some circles, they say to start with a “beginners mind”. I take this as staying curious and not judging ones own learning curve taking knowledge as it comes and being gentle with yourself throughout the learning process.

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9 P’s for Affirmation Creation

When creating positive affirmations,
keep in mind that they should be:

 PRESENT  Set in the present tense
 POSITIVE  No negative words
 PERSONAL  Tailored to you
 PRECISE  Detailed and specific
 POWERFUL  Empowering words
 PUNCHY  Short and concise
 PLAUSIBLE  Realistic statements
 PRIVATE  Can keep to yourself daily
 PERSISTENT  Use even if not true yet

Adapted from Works by Che Garman

Source

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Positive Affirmations for Students

  1. Today and Everyday My Thirst For Learning is Alive And Well in Me
  2. I Am a Great Student And Getting Better Each And Every Day
  3. I Am Prepared For My Tests, I Love Taking Tests, Tests Are a Breeze For Me
  4. Today I Study Hard So Tomorrow I Can Make My Difference.
  5. Education is The Path to Freedom, And Today I Will Walk That Path With Confidence.
  6. I Value My Education Because It Prepares Me For a Bright And Successful Future
  7. I Am Always Open To Learning in a Better Way
  8. A Chance To Learn is a Chance To Grow. I Am Growing
  9. Some Days our Progress Is Small But our Learning Is Much
  10. I Choose To Move Forward Every Day , Growing And Learning As I Go
  11. I Set High Standards For My Educational Experience And I Achieve Them
  12. I Am Smart And Today I Prove It
  13. Learning is Life, I love Learning And I Am Good at It
  14. The More I Learn The More I Achieve
  15. I Am And Being a Student is All About The Possible

Source

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Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

OLD SCHOOL VS. 21st Century Learning

Learning is different and we have to look at building flexibility because of the new way we present information and teach concepts in school. Look at the chart below that helps to illustrate old school versus 21st-century learning.
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Developing Positive Self Talk in School Age Children

I can do it

There has been a lot of recent buzz around the idea of the “Growth Mindset” from Carol S. Dweck. A piece of the “Growth Mindset” is developing in inner monologue of “I can”. Which ends up being how to tame the invading negative thoughts. This post is dedicated to developing the “I can” in school-age kids.

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General

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Improving Achievement Through Self-Talk – Trish Spencer

Five Key Points

In What Students Say to Themselves: Internal Dialogue and School Success (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2000), William Watson Purkey suggests the following five points to keep in mind as you try to shape students’ self-talk:

  1. What significant people think about students and how they act toward students influences how students define themselves.
  2. How students define themselves in their internal dialogue influences their academic success and failure.
  3. Everything the school does and the way things are done influences what students say to themselves.
  4. Altering how students define themselves involves altering the total school environment.
  5. The task of the school is to structure experiences that reduce crippling self-talk while inviting students to define themselves in essentially positive and realistic ways. (p. 77)

Research of Positive Self Talk

Coping Thoughts

 Stop, and breathe, I can do this
 This will pass
 I can be anxious/angry/sad and still deal with this
 I have done this before, and I can do it again
 This feels bad, it’s a normal body reaction – it will pass
 This feels bad, and feelings are very often wrong
 These are just feelings, they will go away
 This won’t last forever
 Short-term pain for long-term gain
 I can feel bad and still choose to take a new and healthy direction
 I don’t need to rush, I can take things slowly
 I have survived before, I will survive now
 I feel this way because of my past experiences, but I am safe right now
 It’s okay to feel this way, it’s a normal reaction
 Right now, I am not in danger. Right now, I’m safe
 My mind is not always my friend
 Thoughts are just thoughts – they’re not necessarily true or factual
 This is difficult and uncomfortable, but it’s only temporary
 I can use my coping skills and get through this
 I can learn from this and it will be easier next time

Source

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Specific Strategies

Help your learner see the positive by Reframing their Thoughts in a positive light.

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STOP Plan

Scared?
Thoughts?
Other helpful thoughts?
Praise and Plan!

 Developing and Using Cognitive Coping Cards

Example of Coping Card-

My Coping Card to Beat Anxiety!
1. Anxiety is not dangerous. It can’t hurt me! It’s just a bully!
2. I can boss back my anxiety. I have done it before!
3. If my heart is racing, I get sweaty, and my tummy hurts. That means that my anxiety
is acting up. I’m not in danger.
4. I could do some relaxation now.

My Coping Card to Beat Anxiety!
1. My face is getting hot and my head is getting dizzy! My anxiety is acting up again!
2. Maybe I need to use the STOP plan now! *
3. If I’m feeling anxious, I could do some calm breathing to calm down.
4. I have lots of friends at school, and they like me even when I get anxious. They told
me so.

coping tool box

Source

power-of-positivity-workshopPOWER OF POSITIVITY PRINTABLE WORKSHOP

This is a printable workshop with a selection of activities, worksheets and craft ideas plus 30 exercises to help you develop a positive mindset.  To be used at home or in the classroom; for kids and/or adults. Cost 9.99

Lack of Student Motivation

motivation

Motivating all students can be a challenge. This post focuses on the issues and strategies to help support those pupils who need us as teachers to meet them where they are at and help them find their way to motivation.

Reading

Motivating Learning in Young Children- NASP

Motivation Matters: 40% Of High School Students Chronically Disengaged From School

The Motivation Equation: Understanding a Child’s Lack of Effort by Kenneth Barish, Ph.D.

Student Motivation, Engagement, and Achievement

Motivating Students to Learn By: Heather Voke

Classroom Applications of Cognitive Theories of Motivation By: Nona Tollefson

Motivation: The Key to Academic Success By: LD OnLine

How can parents help

Parents are central to student motivation. The beginning of a new school year is very important. Children with LD and ADHD often struggle with change. Parents can help get the year off to a good start.

  1. Provide a warm, accepting home environment.
  2. Give clear directions and feedback.
  3. Create a model for success
  4. Build on the student’s strengths
  5. Relate schoolwork to the student’s interests
  6. Help build a family structure that fosters consistent work towards the goal.
  7. Help the student to have some control over how and when he learns.
  8. Emphasize the child’s progress rather than his or her performance in comparison to the other students in the class or family.
  9. Remember to reinforce the behavior you want.
  10. Use reinforcers wisely. Recall that intrinsic motivation works best. Follow a child’s interests, when possible, rather than spending time building elaborate reward systems Source

Strategies

Students lack interest or motivation – Strategies

Using Motivational Interviewing to Help Your Students by Lisa A. Sheldon

Motivation — Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence – U.S. Department of Education

Motivating Your Students

21 Simple Ideas To Improve Student Motivation

Enhancing Students’ Motivation By Annick M. Brennen

The Student Lacks Confidence that He or She Can Do the Work

What the Research Says: Students who believe that they have the ability to complete a particular academic task (self-efficacy) do better and have higher levels of motivation (Jacobs et al., 2002). Yet students often sabotage their academic performance by engaging in negative self-talk about their abilities and by making faulty attributions to explain poor academic performance (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002). Source

Presentation Six Reasons Why Students Are Unmotivated (and What Teachers Can Do) Jim Wright

Reasons for Lack of Motivation
  Stipek
Why Students Are Not Motivated to Learn
Sternberg
Why Intelligent People Fail
Cognitive-Oriented
Reasons
  • Present activities not seen as related to important goals.
  • Do not have (or believe one does not have) the ability to do present activities or obtain future goals.
  • Distractibility and lack of concentration
  • Spreading oneself too thin or too thick
  • Inability or unwillingness to see the forest for the trees
  • Lack of balance between critical, analytic thinking and creative, synthetic thinking
  • Using the wrong abilities
Affective/Socially-
Oriented Reasons
  • Feelings/emotions about present activities are generally negative.
  • Satisfaction of achieving goals seems in distant future.
  • Personal problems interfere with present activities.
  • Misattribution of blame
  • Fear of failure
  • Excessive self-pity
  • Excessive dependency
  • Wallowing in personal difficulties
  • Too little or too much self-confidence
Conative/Volitionally-
Oriented Reasons
  • Do not have a written list of important goals that define success personally.
  • Believe that present goals or activities are wrong for individual.
  • Important goals conflict with present activities.
  • Failure to initiate
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of perservance and perseveration
  • Inability to complete tasks and to follow through
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Inability to translate thought into action
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of product orientation
  • Inability to delay gratification
Environmentally-Oriented Reasons
  • Extrinsic incentives are low.
 

Source

 

References

  • Sternberg, R. (1994). In search of the human mind (395-396). New York: Harcourt Brace.
  • Stipek, D. (1988). Motivation to learn: From theory to practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Motivational Interview

“Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.” Miller and Rollnick (2012)

“When we think of failure; Failure will be ours.  If we remain undecided; Nothing will ever change.  All we need to do is want to achieve something great and then simply do it.  Never think of failure, for what we think, will come about.”    ~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

MI Guide

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Motivational Interviewing Strategies and Techniques: Rationales and Examples

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