Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Develop A Class Motto

Too many of my students have been told that they are lazy, stupid, or good for nothing, so they began to believe it. I felt it was my job to change their attitude. Everyone has a purpose in this life but we just have to figure out what it is. My class motto was “I Am A Born Winner” which every student had to write on their papers they turned in for a grade. If it wasn’t on the paper, I didn’t accept it. At first they hated writing it and thought it was corny but this was non-negotiable. When they whined about it, I lectured about why they had to write it. Just as they believed the negative stuff, then I was going to combat it with a positive statement that hopefully they would start to believe. They got so tired of my lecture that they quit complaining and just wrote it. I would also ask what the class motto was for extra points on quizzes or tests. They needed to know I was serious about it and believed in it myself. Within a few months, I started to see the students study more, try harder, make better grades, and begin being more successful in my classroom. In their senior year, I had students evaluate what they did in my class and most of them wrote that this was the most effective thing I did that helped them believe in themselves. If I see former students, they still can tell me what our class motto was!

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