Encourage Students Using These Words

There are many ways to encourage a child. For students of any age, honest, authentic, and persistent messages from adults that have credibility in their eyes have the most impact. The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning has put together a list of 50 Ways To Encourage A Child, from which our recommendations will be coming. It was designed for younger students (around kindergarten age), but most of them are actually useful for K-12 in general. It all depends on your tone, the situation, and who else is listening. To view the full list, please click here.

1. For a student who is struggling with their work: “You’re on the right track now,” “You really are persisting with this,” or “I know it’s hard, but you’re almost there.”

2. For a student who is putting in hard work, even if it doesn’t always show: “I’m proud of the way you worked today,” or “You’ve worked so hard on that,” or “You must have been practicing.”

3. To encourage self expression: “I heard you say how you feel, that’s great,” “Excellent job saying how you feel,” or “You expressed yourself so well.”

4. For when students are turning in their work: “That turned out very well,” “Excellent try,” or “That’s the way to do it!”

5. For when students are working: “That’s coming along nicely,” “One more time and you’ll have it,” or “You’ve just about got it.”

6. For a student who is practicing conflict resolution: “You stayed so calm during that problem,” “I knew you two could figure it out together,” or “Fantastic problem-solving!”

7. For a student who has improved: “That’s the best you’ve ever done,” “That’s quite an improvement,” or “Nothing can stop you now.”

8. For a student who could use some extra encouragement: “What a superstar you are,” “Your brain must be working hard, you figured that out quickly,” or “I bet you’re proud of yourself.”

9. For a student having a difficult day: “I knew you could do it,” “You’re amazing,” or “I know that was hard for you, but you stayed so calm.”

10. To encourage creativity: “You have such creative ideas,” “You are a creative thinker,” or “I like how you think.”

11. For students practicing teamwork: “Look how you helped each other,” “You finished faster because you worked together,” or “Terrific teamwork!”

12. General encouragement: “Sensational!” “You did it!” or “Yes!”

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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