Student Strengths in the Classroom – Find the Positive

Students or parents are frequently told to fix this or improve that. How about finding the positive and looking for student strengths in the classroom? 

We have all witnessed it.  Students with special needs often receive negative comments or misconstrued negative comments.  Day after day, students or parents are frequently told to fix this, increase this or improve that. How about finding the positive and looking for student strengths in the classroom? When we encourage students that they can do it because they are capable it is so important. They know we are on their “team” and that we believe in them.

We all know every student has strengths.  It is our job as teachers, therapists and parents, to help students utilize their strengths and talents to the best of their abilities.  Temple Grandin says it best – “There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child CAN do, instead of what he cannot do.

Need Help to Determine Student Strengths in the Classroom?

When we help students find their strengths it can help with motivational level and internal drive to improve.  For example, if a student has a wonderful imagination utilize that when teaching new skills.

If you need some help to determine positive attributes and talents in students finish some of these statements (with the student and parents help):

1.  This student is best at…
2.  This student has an amazing ability to…
3.  This student is frequently recognized for…
4.  This student smiles when…
5.  This student is happiest when…
6.  This student participates the most when…
7.  This student does this better than any other student…
8.  This student is highly interested in…
9.  This student is highly motivated by…
10.  This student always takes pride in his/her work when…

Try Being More Specific About Student Strengths

If you need more suggestions to pinpoint student strengths in the classroom, then consider some of these character traits to help guide you.

  • energetic
  • loving
  • kind
  • creative
  • outgoing
  • determined
  • adventurous
  • cooperative
  • trustworthy
  • leader
  • playful
  • courageous
  • funny
  • smart
  • helpful
  • bossy
  • confident
  • persistent

Read more character traits here.

Use Positive Affirmations to Support Students

Positive affirmations for children (and mantras) are terrific tools to teach to support students. They help them develop a healthy sense of self as well as a positive mental-social-emotional mindset.

Affirmations are short; positive “I am” statements that call you into an intentional way of being.  They should be accompanied by a visual image and inspire visceral sensations.   When you use an affirmation, you should experience yourself as you are declaring.

You can read more about teaching positive affirmations to children here.

Positive Affirmation Resources

Combine positive affirmations for kids and proprioceptive input with The Positive Path.  Children can jump along the path or do wall push-ups while they read words of encouragement.

Support student strengths in the classroom by combining positive affirmations for kids and proprioceptive input with The Positive Path.  Children can jump along the path or do wall push-ups while they read words of encouragement.  Students can benefit from proprioceptive input to help get their bodies ready to learn.

Using the power of positive thinking with daily affirmations and physical activity can help students get their brain and bodies ready to tackle the school day.  FIND OUT MORE.

Positive Affirmation Posters and Cards for Children: This is an electronic book of 25 positive affirmation posters (8.5″ x 11″) and smaller cards of the posters (4.25″ x 2.75″).  Empower children to realize all of their talents.  All too often, children with special needs are told what they are unable to do, how about teach them what they can do!  Positive affirmations help children to believe in themselves. The posters include simple text, animal pictures that complement the text and colorful backgrounds.  Hang them up around the house, class or therapy room and provide the child with the small cards to carry around to reinforce the concept.  FIND OUT MORE.

Students or parents are frequently told to fix this or improve that. How about finding the positive and looking for student strengths in the classroom?