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Five Hints to Help Avoid False Praise and Give Valuable Feedback

How do you feel about false praise? 

You know, when someone tells you that you've done a great job, when in your heart, you know you haven't?

 

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!
One time, I was working hard with an exercise video when the instructor said, "Great job!"  I remember thinking... how does she know I'm doing a great job? I could be sitting here eating a bowl of potato chips, and that's not doing a good job!

I've also had people compliment me on things that I know weren't my best work. How do I feel about it?

Well, honestly, it makes me lose my trust in that person. And it frustrates me. I'm sure your students feel the same way. 

Students absolutely need feedback, and they need to develop self worth. But false praise is NOT the way to get there! 

Here are a few suggestions for avoiding praise and giving feedback that matters:

 
 1. Know your students! It's important that you know your students. Not only academically, but personally. Know what they feel good about and what they're sensitive about.

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!
 
 2. Follow the "2 to 1" rule! This means, two compliments and one "you need to work on" item. Of course you wouldn't just say, "great job" or "you're awesome." Make sure they are genuine compliments, which shouldn't be tough to find. As long as you see any effort at all, that can be one of your compliments. It's also important that you always give them something specific to work on.


 3. Make sure your students know you! Let them know about the things you struggle with as well as your successes. When you make mistakes, let them see you model correcting mistakes. When you struggle with something, let them see you processing your way through the struggle.
Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!

4. Make sure your students trust you! This tip goes right along with #3, making sure they know you, but it goes beyond knowledge. Trust is something that must be earned, so this won't happen the first weeks of school. By the time the initial "get to know you" period is done, the students should absolutely know you can be trusted.

 Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!

 5. Always, always, always be honest! If you tell the students they're good at something, and they know they're not, you've lost their trust. When you give information about something they need to work on, and it's honest, you'll gain their trust. And that's more valuable than anything!

Since feedback is such a valuable part of learning, I've written several other blog posts about feedback. Here are some links.


 Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!
 

Five Useful Tips and Tricks!

 

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!
 

The Importance of Failure

 
Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!

Quick, Easy, Honest Feedback

 What kind of praise do you give in the classroom?

How do you keep it honest and genuine?

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!






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