Day 11: Write a Note of Praise to a Student Who Struggles

If at times you show preference to any young person, it should be the poor, those who have no one else to show them preference, those who have the least knowledge, those who lack skills and talent, and those who are not Catholic or Christian. If you show them greater care and concern, it must be because their needs are greater and because it is only just to give more to those who have received less.

Bl. Basil Moreau, Christian Education, Article 4

In the exercises in days 8, 9, and 10, we focused on our students as a whole class or group of classes. Today we will focus specifically on the students who struggle the most.

Writing a note of praise to a student is a great habit to form as a teacher. Once you do it for the students who struggle, you will see how effective it can be. After you do it once, I’m betting you will start to do it more and more throughout the year.

The key to making notes of praise a habit is to have the materials prepared. Download this note template and keep a few handy while you are in class this week: Notes of Praise Template.

Re-read the summary of Carol Dweck’s research on fixed vs. growth mindset in 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator. Make sure your notes of praise help build up a growth mindset. Praise specific actions that the students can control; in other words praise their effort not their ability.