We all have bad days. There will be those days when it seems nothing can go right. Sometimes we can be so critical of ourselves that we fail to see the good we accomplish. At the end of each day in my classroom, each student picks one thing they did well and we celebrate it. If you only see the bad, you’ll have a hard time appreciating those tiny instances when everything came together. Remember to celebrate your success.
I once had a student who couldn’t hold his comb. I know it sounds crazy for cosmetology school, but this student never once combed hair—not even his own. Something so simple and trivial that everyone else had already mastered, another simply couldn’t do. When he learned how to part hair with a comb, the entire class celebrated. This is the thing about celebrating success—it doesn’t have to be a giant feat or even something the majority would think is a big deal.
Someone will get excited over a 71 on a test, while others won’t be satisfied without a 90. A win is a win—no matter how great or small. Celebrate them all. What gets recognized gets repeated. It’s why experts say to reinforce good behavior as opposed to harping on the bad.
When we get through a tough subject, we have a BYOB (bring your own banana) banana split party. I have long ago learned that you never know what someone is going through. You never know someone’s past, what led them to your classroom or what they’re dreading to go home to. If you fail to celebrate their successes, they won’t do it either. We are charged with being our students’ coach, teammate and cheerleader. Give them the encouragement they need and are looking for. Don’t ever underestimate the power of an educator!