Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement

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

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7 Responses to Positive Reinforcement

  1. Olena says:

    I am such a huge supporter of positive reinforcement. I grew up in the enviroment where the negative attention was given more than the positive. When I got my essay back, I would see all the things that I did wrong instead of the highlights of everything that came out well on the paper.

  2. Tiffany says:

    The red check mark in your header is great representation of positive. With children coming from all different backgrounds it is good to know how to teach positive reinforcement in the classroom. I liked the way you gave examples of positive reinforcement to backup the idea of why it is helpful and then use the video to reinforce the affective use in the classroom.
    I have found an interesting article on your topic which always give examples of way you can use positive reinforcement in the classroom http://learningdisabilities.about.com/od/behaviorproblems/p/reinforcers.htm I look forward to reading what other skills you bring to your website!

  3. Rogen Miller says:

    Positive reinforcement is a age old teaching mechanism that has lost its way with a lot of educators, especially those that have been teaching for a long time. Many students are not getting positive reinforcement at home, so i think its crucial that educators are encouraging positive behavior.; not to mention that the media today supports more negative behavior than positive. I like the line where you said “One way a teacher can verbally use positive reinforcement is to notice something positive about a child’s behavior.” The Key word there for was “notice”. Often time students are not aware of the moments when they are behaving appropriately, so they are not sure of what is expected of them, by pointing out those noticeable behaviors it will encourage students to continue to behave in that manner.

    Here is an article that supports your blog, http://www.buzzle.com/articles/positive-reinforcement-in-the-classroom.html

  4. Johanne says:

    I am glad that you posted as your first blog about this subject. Positive reinforcement is key to helping our students have a growing confidence in themselves .
    We as mentors and instructors need to emulate and help reinforce their positive behaviors. I find it very interesteing that no matter how old the student this theme carries on throughout thier life. I found another interesting article you may want to look at.

  5. Rebekah says:

    Here is an interesting article I came across regarding positive reinforcement. It explains different ways of choosing reinforcers and how reinforcement should be delivered.


    I found this especially interesting as I use a discrete trial method in my classroom for some of my special needs students, and it discusses how positive reinforcement needs to be individualized to be most effective.

  6. Rebekah says:

    I completely agree with your thoughts on the importance of positive reinforcement! I use it all the time with my Pre-K class and all of the students definitely respond to it. It can be very hard sometimes to always use the positive wording when responding to a situation (i.e. not saying “no” or “stop”) but it is something that every teacher should try to remember.

  7. Lindsey Melville says:

    I am a huge supporter of positive reinforcement! I feel not enough teachers utilize this technique. I feel students feel so good about themselves when they are praised for their work.

    I find myself hating my job because I never recieve any positive enforcement. I am constantly being reminded of negativitity! It’s amazing what a positive attitude can do to your psyche!

    This site below zeros in on positive reinforcement in the work place. Maybe something, you would like to explore! :)


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