A Puff of Wind and Praise
A little bit of praise can go a long way.
We are often told not to praise children too much because it can be counter-productive and so getting the balance right is important.
This goes for praising staff too.
If we think of praise as a kind of food or medicine then small and measured doses work best.
We definitely need to observe and elevate those around us but giving them too much mental sugar isn’t good for anyone.
Dishing out praise by the ladleful isn’t.
When using praise in any situation we have to think carefully about the strength of dosage and how often it should be administered.
If we keep praising someone all the time then this can be destructive and it can work against other people’s genuine best interests.
When we praise students for attending school, not being disruptive or handing in their homework then this is actually poor preparation for the real world because we are turning ‘normal’ into ‘excellent’ and so genuine excellence loses its value.
Don’t over-praise students for doing stuff they should be doing anyway. They cannot be expected to be praised for everything.
The right kind of praise at the right time and in the right quantity can help students and staff excel. So if you see something worthy of praise, weigh it up and administer accordingly by recognising, verbalising and aggrandising without going over the top.