Education is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. It will take solutions around the HOW, not words around the WHAT.
How do you celebrate success in your classroom or on your team? Do you have a chant? A motion? A high five combined with a shout? Regardless of what combo gets you and those around you excited, celebration is key. Highlighting a job well done goes a long way for our students and for those we work with as well. That celebration increases investment and motivation, two things we can never have enough of in education!
Here are a couple of ways you can celebrate success:
1. A standard and quick motion or chant that you always do when you want to praise something in your classroom can work beautifully. In our organization, we use quick clapping combos that students and teams can use. For example, if a student gives a great answer, reward her with, “Can we give Abigail two claps? One, two.” And then the claps follow.
I have also heard really quick sayings used. In my own classroom, one of my favorite sayings was, “Reading makes you smarter.” If I wanted to praise excellent reader habits in a student, I would say, “Let’s give Eddie a “reading makes you smarter.” Then, the class repeats.
2. Another repeat strategy is to say the student’s name with the praise and have the whole class repeat. For example, if Sam worked diligently on a problem, announce for all to repeat, “Sam, you’re working hard today!” Then, the whole class repeats. Sam will surely be on cloud nine. When I run out of compliments, I’ll use the first letter of the student’s name to spark an adjective for me. For example, “Anna, that’s amazing urgency!” Remember to try your best to praise behaviors that other students can replicate. We want the students to be driven by the praise and for them to demonstrate academic and cultural behaviors that will drive success.
3. Finally, if you want to celebrate in silence, don’t forget silent cheers. I like to keep things urgent, so I would tell my kids, “2 second silent cheers, quick!” They all silent cheer for 2 seconds and then get back to work. I’ve also had the students do silent motions like, shooting a basketball or a touchdown sign, when I felt like they “scored” as a class.
The best teachers are the best motivators. They ignite something within their students. They find a way to push learning and also create the desire to learn more. It’s the perfect facilitation of the “I can” and the “I want.” Celebrating success can motivate your students or teammates and engage them in their work.
Keep it simple, and keep it fun. The rest will follow.
What are your suggestions for celebrating success?