day 309: praise rates

 Praise rates.  A very important term we use in special education that has to do with the average number of verbal praises offered within a minute.  Today I was told my lessons I am teaching in my summer practicum are going well, but that I need to get my praise rates up a little higher.  The goal is 5-6 per minute, and my average at last check was 4.5.  One verbal offering of praise every ten seconds.  No matter how happy you are and how thrilled you are with someone's performance, that is a tough standard.  Think of your interactions during the day.  Can you imagine offering machine-gun-delivered praise over and over again throughout the day?  Yet, I know the principle is true, because every time I say to Reilly great job sitting in ready position, thank you for working so hard, I like how you are trying so hard, thank you for concentrating on your work, I like how you are responding when I ask you to he lights up a little and does even better. 

And thank you for continuing to come here to read my thoughts.  You are doing a fantastic job, and I appreciate it tremendously.  :)

ps Check out yesterday's post to see the kinetic typography Geo did on one of my recordings from last month. It was a lot of work, and he did a great job.


LisAway | June 25, 2010 at 6:45 AM

Now that is a LOT of praise! I need to remember to be better about that with my kids. It is sometimes easier to tell them what they should be doing or what they are doing wrong than to take note when they're doing what they should. My preschool training has been too easily forgotten. Thanks for the reminder. (and for the praise. :)

mermaid gallery | June 25, 2010 at 7:30 AM

just goes to show...we all feel better and try harder when our good points are responded to and not our poor points....score.........

CiCi | June 25, 2010 at 7:38 AM

4.5 sounds like a lot to me, but hey more praise the better, bring it on! You are doing a great job, and bu raising your number to 6 you will rock!

Lara Neves | June 25, 2010 at 8:27 AM

DEFINITELY something I really need to work on with my children. You have inspired me to try harder. 5-6 per minute may be more than I can handle at first, but I will see what I can do! Thanks!

Bonnie | June 25, 2010 at 9:32 AM

You know, I'm a huge fan of genuine praise, and I can see the benefit of higher frequency rates in young children and special needs cases. But I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say that I find too frequent praise unctuous and counterproductive outside of those cases. Even in a special needs group, at praise every 6 seconds, it seems like you would have no time to do anything but praise, so how do you instruct? That seems really hard.

amber_mtmc | June 25, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Praise is so important, it doesn't matter how old a person is! My husband is working in a treatment facility for troubled youth and he tries doing the same thing. It really makes such a difference in their reactions to him!

Kimberly Vanderhorst | June 25, 2010 at 11:47 AM

I've seen the way kids light up with praise and I love the idea of giving more. Lovely reminder!

Robin | June 25, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Another reason I could never be a special ed teacher.

Way to go, Karen. You rock!

See, that's all I've got.

Charlotte | June 25, 2010 at 8:25 PM

No way could I make it that often, but I think I could definitely do it more. I can always tell when I praise them how even a little goes a long way.

Your writing is always so profound and lovely. I enjoy clicking over to think and comment.

bernthis | June 25, 2010 at 10:03 PM

I would find that very hard. I'd be so wrapped up in how many times I praised the person I'd never get anything done

Becca | June 26, 2010 at 8:14 AM

That is a huge standard. I think that when I try to remember to praise my kids each 4.5 times a day I've done pretty well. I've got a way to go, haven't I? (But in my world, I have to agree with Bonnie about it needing to be genuine - I'd hate to validate my capable children into oblivion.)

Kazzy | June 26, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Yeah, it is a whole different thing in the classroom when you are dealing with kids with disabilities. They are sitting in desks and the praise can be as short as "good job" "nice reading" etc.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan | June 26, 2010 at 9:25 AM

It sounds like you are learning a great deal. Kinda sounds like hard work.
I think you are wonderful.

Dedee | July 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

I need to do that more. Praise is a good thing.