A Simple Friday Feel-Good for Educators


This photo is shared under Creative Commons. The original photo can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jjude/2740546006/

This week I was really inspired by a piece that Kathy Cuff wrote for the Blanchard LeaderChat site, “Got a new employee? 3 ways to show you care.

Here is Kathy’s list of those 3 ways:

1.  Never reprimand a learner.

2.  Let the employee know it’s okay to make mistakes—that you “have their back.”

3.  Praise progress.

I really like that list.  Kathy wrote this for new employees, but it got me to thinking about learners in general and how this list really applies to anyone learning something new.  Sometimes in education we get so caught up in arguing about pedagogical orientation and instructional methodology that we sort of forget about the basics.  And sometimes in education technology we are busy thinking about devices and features and benefits and we lose sight of the actual person using those devices.

So for this Friday, let’s consider getting back to the basics that Kathy recommends.  Those three simple rules are what each and every one of us can do to make our students feel good, even when they are learning new and difficult things.  Help build their confidence, even when they make novice mistakes.  Let them know that someone is on their side.  It’s what we would want for ourselves as learners, right?

How about a Friday feel-good?

About karen mahon

i am a behavior and learning scientist. i hold an ed.d. in educational psychology and am trained as an instructional designer. i have spent more than 15 years working in education and instructional software design.
This entry was posted in Learner Behavior, Parenting, Professional Development and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Simple Friday Feel-Good for Educators

  1. Paul Olean says:

    These issues become even more important to the role of the teacher as new technology supplants the traditional role of the teacher. Hardware that can deliver individualized instruction that is adaptive to the child’s unique learning will define the role of the teacher as a knowledgable guide, motivator and inspirational mentor. The three attributes presented in the article are essential to this new role. The challenge in education is not the adoption of these new technologies but making the change in how we see a teacher’s contribution to the learning process of our children. Can we envision that new role and can we celebrate it. That is the question at hand.

    • karen mahon says:

      Interesting point, Paul. I agree that the three points that Kathy brought up in the original article are equally important when kids are using tech solutions as not. And I think you’re right that figuring out how to integrate those “teacher behaviors,” if you will, with technology in the classroom can sometimes be challenging. That said, I think if these three points are always at the forefront of our minds, we can get there! Thanks for the comment!

  2. fran says:

    These issues have always been important to good teachers, who are facilitators of learning, no matter the delivery system. Good teachers leave their egos at the door and remember that students and parents will not care how much you know until they know how much you care.

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