To develop the use of praise and encouragement


To develop the use of praise and encouragement

Evidence and reflection

Consider your recent conversations with pupils.

How often did you praise them, their work or their behaviour? What form did this praise take? What might you do to make your comments more effective?


It is worth spending time quite deliberately developing your repertoire of words and phrases for praise and encouragement. It is very easy to get stuck with the routine ‘Good’ which rapidly becomes a meaningless punctuation and loses its effect on the pupils. 

Make a list of words, phrases and statements that could be used. A Thesaurus might be useful. Some suggestions to start you off:  Well done!, Good try!, Excellent, Great

Think also about the value of being explicit about the reasons for your praise of work or behaviour. For example:

From your list choose those you think you will feel comfortable using. Practice saying them aloud. (Remember, teaching is part acting.)

Follow up

Try out some of your formulations for praise and encouragement and reflect on the outcome.