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Teaching with Respect
July 28, 2020
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
-Maya Angelou

Mary Gersten, in an article with the subtitle “Teaching with Respect” (which provides the foundation for an Out of the Box Training Kit) writes:

“How many times do we hear adults say, ‘You knew better than that!’ If children knew better, they would do better. The most effective means of managing a classroom is by having realistic expectations for a child based on his or her age and level of development. Our requests will, then, be connected to what they are capable of doing (not just what we want them to do)…

One of the ways Gersten suggests we can help children feel our respect is by substituting encouragement for praise. She writes: “When [praise is] used in excess, children grow immune to it, and praise becomes ineffective….Praise is also used to compare children. ‘I like how Johnny is sitting quietly.’ [Other children] may respond by thinking…‘Who cares?’ By offering encouragement rather than praise, children learn that they are capable of making good choices on their own. This helps children feel good about themselves and they are, therefore, likely to make that same choice again.”





Out of the Box Training Kits

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The Out of the Box Training Kit, Facilitating Collaborations Among Children, is designed to help learners understand how to enrich children’s lives by walking alongside children as they form compassion.

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