As a teacher of young children, it is vital to understand how to communicate with them and give essential feedback in a positive and constructive way. It is common knowledge that praise and encouragement are high motivators to help children respond the way we want. It builds confidence, self-worth and helps them grow in the knowledge of what is right and wrong, as well as making positive choices about their behavior.
In a classroom of Pre-K students, creating motivation to receive effective feedback is critical. Below are a few suggestions on how best to give feedback to young children.
All students, regardless of age, must be receptive to receiving instruction about whatever topics they are studying at the moment. This instruction must ensure a measure of success for each student so they may succeed at the project or assignment that follows.
Fear of failure often begins in early academic settings. This fear can turn into an expectation and can paralyze them even into adulthood. A mindful teacher will not create a cookie-cutter assignment without considering the varying levels of ability within the classroom. The students will feel safe with the feedback when they see it is directly tied to their performance and effort in class and with take-home assignments.
Humans are social beings and we seek out relationships with others and want to have camaraderie. Children are no different, even at the youngest levels of school age. The pre-K age group is in need of the warmth and acceptance of their peers as well as the adults in their lives. With assurance and positive responses to participation, these young children will grow and search for memberships in groups that accept them and have meaningful interactions with others.
Creating a bulletin board where a student can share something personal and meaningful about his or her life will allow others to enjoy the successes and pleasures of others and provide support.
Children are required to go to school. But, at some point, their minds begin to wonder: “What am I getting out of it?” “Why do I have to be here?” Their motivation comes from assigning value to what they do. Effective feedback from their teacher can be that motivation. They will value their education.
Children are already curious about their world. To keep that inquisitive nature growing and maturing, teachers must encourage, nurture and find ways to connect what they are learning in the classroom to their lives outside of school. Effective feedback and value-feeding motivation will squelch rising dropout statistics in future.