The Magic of Belief

You’ve heard them. The countless stories of someone being trapped under a car. The first person on the scene (and often a team of people) immediately miraculously finds the unthinkable, unimaginable, impossible strength to lift the car. Psychologists say a powerful adrenaline rush gives people the belief that they can do something that under normal circumstances is thought humanly impossible.

Not on as grand a scale, but can students get that same kind of rush because of something someone says to them?

Think about it. If a child thinks everyone thinks of him as a failure, in many cases, a child won’t push himself. He begins to believe what people have said and their expectations of him.

What happens when people speak powerful positivity into children?

For the past week, I have been consistent and intentional about telling my students they are the best class in all of kindergarten.

Let me set the stage. School just began in late August. It’s only late October, we we can safely say we have been in school for two months. This is kindergarten, remember?

My students have risen to the occasion and I am not the only one who is noticing. Other teachers have given praise and compliments directly to my class. The sense of pride that washes over them as they humbly receive each compliment is inspiring. Many of my students have stepped into roles I’ve not before seen:

  • Self monitoring
  • Monitoring each other
  • Encouraging
  • Helping
  • Celebrating

I decided to use this same powerful statement to correct behavior. No references to the behavior. I simply walk up and say, “We are the best class in all of kindergarten.” The behavior is immediately corrected. Yes, in kindergarten.

Our words are powerful in the lives of our students. They remember our words years after they are spoken. What words do you want resonating in the minds and hearts of students for years to come?

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