Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their
echos are truly endless. Mother Teresa

The Secret - Recognizing Special Strengths

Good teachers are masters of motivation. They know that motivating each child is the secret to good teaching. Motivation happens when each child feels recognized. Good teachers know how to recognize in a positive way. Parents view teachers who do not motivate students as "The Walking Dead." Here is the secret to motivation:

Teacher asks students to look around the room and write down two or three special strengths seen in fellow students (no names). Teacher collects lists and reads or displays the wide range of special strengths.

Now, teacher asks students to write down two or three special strengths or interests seen in SELF. (Teacher assures confidentiality) Each student signs name and gives list to teacher.

Teacher encourages students to use each one's special strengths in school work and home work. Teacher regularly recognizes and comments on students' special strengths.

Albert Einstein was an early slow learner. At one parent conference, young Albert's parents were told not to worry about the boy, "He will never amount to anything". Later his uncle gave him a compass. Einstein began to wonder what made the compass always point north. This sparked an interest in mathematics.

Alice Miller in her book, "The Untouched Key", makes clear that if a child has some recognition of his worth and value, some "witness" to his experience, this can make an extraordinary difference.

ATTENTION TEACHERS:  You may print out and copy these articles to share with teachers.

Examples of marginal, struggling individuals who were able to overcome disadvantages:

Susan B. Anthony: Achieved right to vote for women. Ridiculed, shunned and thrown in jail for her efforts.

Cady Stanton: Co-achieved right to vole for women. Suffered similar punishments for her efforts.