Acknowledge, Recognize & Encourage Your Students

As Mary Kay says, "There are two things that people want more than money, recognition, and praise." Our students are no different. They seek both recognition and praise from us every time they step into the classroom.

As we are heading into a new season, it is important to stop and make a plan for how

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you will recognize and praise your students this year. Spending a little time planning this out will really set you up for a great season. I love to map this out in the summer so I am ready when the season starts.

There are easy ways that you can do this both inside and outside the classroom. When you are planning your inside classroom strategies, think about ways that you can recognize effort in addition to progress. By noticing and recognizing the effort a student is putting into a specific skill, you are helping to inspire that student. I realize that sometimes we get caught up in the progress of things and focus on our students achieving a new skill rather than noticing how hard they are working. All it takes is a little attention shift to correct this and help each student feel successful in your classroom.

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A few ways I like to reward and recognize students in the classroom is by giving them a simple “high five” and giving verbal kudos. I also love to reward students with stickers, buttons, “ Did It” awards, and handwritten cards.

Another great way to do this is to post on social media. If you have a private facebook page for your studio families, this is a great place to share pictures and videos of students to show their progress and recognize them all.

Having a quick conversation in the hallway with their parents is another way to recognize a student. It can be as short as a 20-30 second conversation. This takes little to no effort, but is always appreciated by the parents.

I like to follow the A.R.E. method with my students in the classroom. That is Acknowledge, Recognize, and Encourage. These are three pillars of a great relationship with your students. By acknowledging their effort they feel seen, by recognizing progress, they feel special, and by encouraging them they feel important. We always want our students to feel special, seen, heard, and important.

Tracking Progress is a great way to help keep students motivated and moving in the right direction. You can do this with a sticker chart, a Google sheet, or skills tracker. Whichever method you use, it will make an impact on your students.

I love to use this photo as a reminder of the many ways you can praise a child.

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I love this anonymous quote "A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success." When we see our students struggling and not achieving a goal or a skill, it is so important for us to stop and offer them some encouragement!

Make an effort to offer words of encouragement, recognize, and reward your students this season and watch the impact it will have!

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Pam Simpson is the founder, president, and driving force behind Forte Arts Center, which was established in Morris, Illinois in 1993. In addition to building her business from a small, one room studio to a large, multi-location organization that offers dance, tumbling and cheer programs as well as private music lessons, Pam is a leading force in the realm of small business ownership in the dance and tumbling industries as she travels all over the country speaking to and educating for large organizations such as Rhee Gold Company, Dance Teacher Summit, and More Than Just Great Dancing. When not working on her businesses, Pam enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her daughter, who is a performer at Walt Disney World.

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