Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What To Say Instead Of "Good Job"

"Teacher Tom! Look!"

"Look, Teacher Tom! Look what I can do!"

"I didn't know you could flip your tummy up on the table and balance with your legs up in the air."

"Look what I figured out, Teacher Tom! I can pop the bubbles by tearing my finger through them. Watch."

"You did that. You figured out how to pop it by tearing your finger through it."

"Teacher Tom, I'm popping them by jumping!" 

"I heard it pop! And I heard it again! You're jumping high and coming down hard to make them pop."

"Did you see what I can do? I'm making shapes! Let me show you."

"You're using your finger to hold the plastic circle in place and drawing around it! It looks like you're really concentrating."

"I can do it with other shapes too."

"I have something I want to show you, Teacher Tom. When I pull out these plugs the cars don't race any more and when I plug them back in they work again."

"Hey, you broke the circuit when you unplugged it, and you closed the circuit again when you plugged them in"

"Teacher Tom, Teacher Tom, we made this house."

"Who said that?"

"We did! We're inside here."

"Now I see you. You made a house with a sheet and clothes pins. You must have worked together."

"We did."

"Look what I made."

"You cut out all those shapes with pinking shears and used a glue stick to stick it all together. That was a lot of work. It looks like the two shapes are looking in a mirror."

"A crazy mirror!"

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Mama Mo said...

What a great example of showing instead of telling! I appreciate the real-life examples, with illustrations! Thanks, Teacher Tom :-)

kidatheart said...

OMGosh Teacher Tom!! Those words are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I work with a seasoned teacher whose every other word is "Good Job”!! All I can do is leave articles around suggesting other options and model other ways. It makes for some very long days.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes!

Holly, mum to four

bluemom said...

Teacher tom, I love your way. Just hope that I keep this mode on!

Nicholas Johnson said...

Those are awesome things to say. Much better than well done!

Anonymous said...

good job TT

Lorraine Dodd said...

I love your reminder of the value of sincere engagement. Children sniff out insincerity just as quickly as adults. I think our relationships thrive when we take time to say something authentic and real. I'm hoping it's OK: I've posted a link to this on my FB page. Lorraine Dodd: Counsellor

MItzi said...

Oy. I have forgotten the importance of taking the time to praise the children's hard work during the busy parts of the day. I needed to see this. Thanks for sharing it.

Roni Habib said...

Super Cool! Love that you're reflecting back to your students what they do instead of the generic "good job".

Anonymous said...

You showed us really cool examples of how to avoid saying 'good job', that was really helpful!

ImaginationPlay said...

Hello TeacherTom !!

I always enjoy your Blog so much. I feel bad I don't get time to comment often and then I feel guilty because I know how much time YOU are able to spend in creating your wonderful Blog AND I thank you for it today in a BIG WAY!!!

I had a parent ask me yesterday, "How can I ask my child what they did at preschool today and not get the I don't know answer"?

I would love to hear what you might suggest I suggest on your behalf to my ELL preschool parents.
Thank you TeacherTom.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I like it, so simple and less platitude!

Melynda Adragna said...

You're right on Teacher Tom! I don't know who you are but spread it! Bev Bos has been teaching this and more for over 50 years at Roseville Community Preschool and she speaks worldwide on the topic! You should come see & get ideas from her school..,our school! It is a truly iconic amazing place!

rightfromthestart said...

As a Brit, I loathe Good Job with a passion. Simple and great post. Thank you.

Julie Steed said...

Excellent and spot on!

Anonymous said...

I try so hard with my kids to use observations (for example, when they show me a drawing I will say something like, "that is so colorful" or "that is a lot of flowers!" but my 4 year old son just keeps asking repeatedly, "Do you like it?" I've started responding by asking him, "Do you like it?" and that usually does it but I'm wondering if there is anything else I should be saying instead.

Teacher Tom said...

@Anon . . . If a kid asks if I like his work, I usually reply with a statement about effort or process: "You used a lot of circles," "You worked on it a long time," "I saw you use 5 brushes," etc.

girl elvis said...

What I have noticed is many adults say "good job/boy/girl" in situations where a child has done what the adult has asked them.
I would often see as one where I would say 'thank you'.

Ellen Oliveira said...

Such great suggestions. I'm going to rethink how I talk to my son. Thanks!

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