Teacher’s Unorthodox Style Has His Students Feeling More Positive Every Day
Lifestyle| | By Jason Owen
A special education teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, has begun a new tradition in his classrooms and it has teachers everywhere cheering.
Chris Ulmer is the Special Education teacher at Keystone Academy. Every morning, instead of listing off the classes daily agenda, Ulmer has added a rather unorthodox new part to the curriculum: compliments.
“Every morning I spend 10 minutes complimenting the students in my special education class. I have seen their confidence and self-worth skyrocket. Every child deserves to feel accepted in this world. Instead of focusing on deficits I focus on talents. Instead of talking about peace, love and harmony, I display peace, love and harmony. I child’s reality is shaped from early life experience. If they have a mean, jaded teacher, they will think [of] the world as mean and jaded. But if a teacher displays love, harmony and peace … THAT will become their norm.”
Children learn to love or hate at an early age.I think it’s time we actively work towards teaching love and acceptance.
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Every morning Ulmer gives each and every student a boost of encouragement and high-fives. And in just a few short weeks, Ulmer says he has seen a remarkable difference in his classroom.
“After a few weeks of this practice, my students started complimenting one another consistently. They praise each other for accomplishments as if it was their own. They never insult one another, and actively work towards helping each other. Hate is a learned behavior. Love is natural.”
Ulmer says it’s all about helping to build each student’s self-esteem.
“Simple reminders of their positive attributes shifts student focus from what they can’t do to what they can do.”
That’s a lesson every educator should be able to teach.