I realize that for many parents the pendulum of praising their children has swung just about as far as it can. Their children are gorgeous, brilliants, completely honest, and just the best thing since sliced bread. Oh, and they are always right.
These parents can be obnoxious and make your job as a teacher much more difficult.
These are not the people I am thinking about today.
Today I am thinking about kids who never get a compliment. The kids whose parents don't hesitate to berate them for making a mistake.
These kids aren't perfect and they do make a lot of mistakes. In fact, their parents might even have good reason not to trust them. But today I saw a little boy receive a compliment from his teacher and shut down because he had no idea how to respond to praise and it just about broke my heart.
So I am taking this opportunity to remind myself, and anyone else who happens across this post, to be generous with my compliments to my students. Every day each one of them does something that deserves a pat on the back, and I want to make sure each one of them gets it.
It is sometimes hard to remember this fact when there is so much naughty behavior to deal with during a class period, but I won't be the teacher I want to be if I don't.