It is important for teachers to use a variety of teaching techniques to provide students with a successful learning environment. One important teaching technique I would like to discuss is using positive reinforcement in the classroom with students. It is beneficial to incorporate a positive atmosphere because students feel safe and confident with others in an academic setting. A teacher that uses positive reinforcement increases positive behavior from the students, which results in a successful learning environment. Educators from preschool and up can incorporate positive reinforcement through verbal cues.
One way a teacher can verbally use positive reinforcement is to notice something positive about a child’s behavior. For example, if a child says the words please or thank you to another child, a teacher can say to the child, “Wow, I like the way you are using your manners and saying thank you to your friend”. By reinforcing the positive behavior the child was exhibiting, a child is more likely to repeat the behavior. Also, children around that child will hear the teacher give the child praise for the specific action and will know the teacher is happy to hear those kind words. In turn, the child will be more likely to behave in that positive manner. Children like to get attention and it is important to provide students with positive attention rather than negative. If a child knows they will receive attention from the teacher for a certain behavior, a child is more likely to repeat it whether it is good or bad. Therefore, it is important for a teacher to provide as many opportunities as possible for catching children doing really good things in the classroom and making positive comments to reinforce the behavior. The following is an example of how a teacher uses positive reinforcement with her students in the classroom.
In addition, it is important for teachers to verbally redirect students positively by stating the behavior that is expected. For example, if a teacher sees a student running in the classroom instead of saying, “Stop running” a teacher should say, “Please use walking feet in the classroom”. This relates to child psychology because when a person says for someone not to do something, it creates an image in the person’s mind of that action and may be more likely to do that action. However, when a teacher states what the child should be doing, the child creates an image of what he/she should do. Therefore, a child will have a picture in his/her mind to use walking feet instead of running feet. This is another example of positive reinforcement because a teacher is positively speaking to a child to repeat a behavior.
As an educator, it is important to remember how much of an impact on each student we have. It is important to make the influence we have a positive one. By using positive reinforcement as one of the many techniques incorporated in the classroom, we will create a successful academic setting where students feel safe and confident while learning.
Rainbow Academy Child Care. (2011, Feb. 27). Positive Reinforcement. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/17OiozYwuvY