My first “new year resolution” for this upcoming school year (starting Monday, yikes!) is to be direct and outright with my encouragement of students. I resolve to regularly use statements such as “I believe in you,” “you can do it,” “keep up the hard work,” and “you are good at math” purposefully with students every day.
It’s funny because I have read articles or blog posts before that have outlined the amazing effect that simple phrases like that being said regularly in the classroom can have on both individual students and on the classroom culture as a whole. And I think that I agreed, but I don’t think that I really realized how much of an effect that it can have until I experienced some of those things myself recently. I have been struggling with some things lately that my wife and some friends have been very direct with encouraging me in just with simple phrases like these, and I have really been stunned by this. As I sat on my roof thinking and looking at the ocean tonight, it just dawned on me how powerful this was.
I realized that what planted the seed that lead to my rooftop thoughts was my devotional I read this morning that said “Any time you think something positive about someone else, you should tell them. We should all live by that rule, as it will help us become more comfortable speaking life-giving words.”
I’m not a guy who naturally does this, but I am going to commit to it this school year with my students, my colleagues, my wife, and even to myself.