Find the Good and Praise It

Words of encouragement we hope will stick with students.
Words of encouragement we hope will stick with students.

During one of this week’s professional development sessions, the entire CCSC faculty shared some of the phrases they use to motivate students to always do their best work and to encourage them to keep persevering, no matter how hard it seems. Teachers jotted down each phrase on yellow stickies and read them aloud to each other. We’ll be hearing a lot of these words of encouragement in classrooms when classes start next Wednesday.

Words of Encouragement:

  1. I wouldn’t bother to ask you to do this if I didn’t think you could. I don’t waste my time.
  2. The only thing wrong with screwing up is if you don’t learn from it. Mistakes are how people learn best.
  3. I <3 humanities.
  4. We did this!
  5. Wow, that’s a college level answer.
  6. You are meant for BIG things.
  7. You crushed it.
  8. Gee willikers, did you see that future college student right there.
  9. Make good choices.
  10. No one said this was going to be easy, but I am saying this is going to be worth it.
  11. We reviewed this yesterday, you got this. You know this.
  12. You did this yesterday, this is just one extra step.
  13. I love it when you take risks!
  14. “And using Aakeilah’s theorem we can see that…”
  15. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes… that is how we improve as a team.
  16. I saw that was a challenge and you worked hard on it.
  17. Their workout is your warm-up.
  18. You are a rock star!
  19. I believe in you and the chance of your success.
  20. You are a soldier (grit).
  21. This is hard, but you can do it.
  22. Do you go hard?
  23. Nice use of academic language.
  24. You crushed that!
  25. What did you learn from that mistake?
  26. You’re such a scholar.
  27. Great question. We need to write that on the great questions list.
  28. Way to work through it.
  29. You are mad thirsty (eager/curious).
  30. Be a point of light.
  31. Look how far your hard work has taken you.
  32. You are doing great work.
  33. Thank you!
  34. Keep trying!
  35. I’ve seen you do this before!
  36. What do you think?
  37. Good job!
  38. Keep at it– you’re almost there.
  39. Good effort.
  40. Nice work.
  41. Thanks for… (helping a classmate, volunteering an answer, etc…)
  42. I am going to end up working for you someday.
  43. Super effort!
  44. You are a beast!
  45. Yes! (with a high 5)
  46. I believe in you. You’ve got this.
  47. The effort you put into that piece paid off.
  48. Great questions!
  49. Nice job staying focused.
  50. You’ve really gotten better at… (skill).
  51. That’s a really good point
  52. I appreciate that you asked that question.
  53. I believe that you can do this, I just need you to believe in yourself too.
  54. She/he is showing me that she/he is ready to learn.
  55. Good focus.
  56. Wow. Look how well you did. That’s because you worked so hard.
  57. Excellent question.
  58. Great job!
  59. I know that you can do this, don’t give up.
  60. I know you can do this. Let’s get it done.
  61. You’ve really become a leader in this classroom.
  62. This is your strength. You can get an A on this.
  63. You’ve got the abilities, skills. You just need to put them altogether.
  64. Keep it up.
  65. You got this.
  66. You’ve grown a lot, particularly in…
  67. Do your best.
  68. But it takes 21 days to make it a habit…
  69. Are you busy? Answer: never too busy for you.
  70. So what do you think? You actually came up with that on your own?
  71. Student name, nice defense.
  72. Student name, you rock.
  73. Hi blank, how are you today?  Glad to see you.
  74. You did a great job of catching yourself when you called out.
  75. You are a boss, in math.
  76. That’s a great idea. You’re killing it.
  77. Hell yeah, man. Come on man.
  78. Yes, you can.
  79. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
  80. I’m bad at this too, let’s figure it out together.
  81. You have a great brain, don’t waste it.
  82. You’re not stupid.
  83. This is difficult, You can do it.
  84. You can do it.
  85. You know you are all smart, now you just need to work hard.
  86. You’re going to kill this. You’ve got this.
  87. I know you can do it.
  88. You know this stuff.
  89. You are right, this is hard, and you can do it.
  90. That’s an interesting idea, share with your partner.
  91. You’re making progress.
  92. I didn’t think about it that way, can you tell your group?
  93. Keep going
  94. If you keep working hard, I know you’ll get there.
  95. Tell me what you know. Followed by, exactly.
  96. Crush it.
  97. You learn the most when you’re met with challenges.
  98. Growth mindset.
  99. Amazing answer.
  100. Out of the park! With high five!
  101. Excellent answer.
  102. You can do this trust what you already know.
  103. When a student doesn’t like a book: well let’s find when you do like.
  104. Did you like that book? Why, what made it good?
  105. I would not ask you to do this unless I was sure you could  do it
  106. Look at this. Do you realize how much stronger ____ is now than it was 2 months ago?
  107. I believe in you
  108. Let’s see why this _______ is so incredible
  109. Look at that beautiful …. (equation, paragraph., sentence/…)
  110. Now that is some next-level stuff right there!
  111. I have no doubt you can get this
  112. Oooooh….DEEP!
  113. It’s a joyful day 🙂
  114. Let me see that smile 🙂
  115. Good day 🙂
  116. Be safe, be smart, show heart  🙂
  117. Keep at it– come talk to me. I’m here
  118. This is hard– and you can do it
  119. I don’t talk about “I can’t”. How can I help?  You can’
  120. Keep trying!
  121. I know this is hard, but you can do it
  122. Keep up the good work
  123. It’s okay, just be yourself!
  124. Good idea; how do you know that?
  125. That’s thinking like a scientist!
  126. There is no right answer; what do you think?
  127. How do you figure that out?
  128. You can do this.
  129. I like how you…
  130. Why don’t you explain that you someone else since you got it right
  131. Prove yourself wrongYou know how to do this
  132. Have confidence in yourself– I do
  133. The wrong answer is just an opportunity for growth + learning
  134. This may seem challenging at first, but you will be able to do it
  135. YEAH BOOOOOOOY (with a big, menacing smile)
  136. Wow! You just made a connection between _______ and ________ on your own
  137. I never thought of _________ that ways. That’s excellent scholarship.
  138. I’ve seen you push yourself through __________ and I know you can do it again!
  139. That’s a really smart question/comment
  140. I know you can do this (fill in difficult task)!
  141. Ohhhhh weeee!
  142. Excellence!
  143. Someone call HOMICIDE, because you are KILLIN’ it!
  144. Incredible effort!
  145. Such a grown man/woman response.
  146. How are you feeling today?
  147. You don’t seem like yourself today, anything you would like to talk about?
  148. How was your weekend?
  149. Good to see you today!
  150. You can be successful as long as you try.
  151. I believe in you.
  152. I support you and your efforts
  153. I care about you.
  154. I am proud of you.
  155. You are awesome!
  156. I know you can do it!
  157. Stay determined, you’ll get there!
  158. Nice work. What’s next?
  159. You know how to do this.
  160. I know you can do this!
  161. Great connection you made to what we learned last week.
  162. Nice try, keep thinking about it!
  163. Excellent question
  164. You have a wonderful idea spinning…
  165. That was a thoughtful question
  166. Excellent thinking.
  167. Naming what’s done well specifically and saying I’m proud of you.
  168. You showed perseverance and worked hard.
  169. You’re on the right track, keep going!
  170. You’ve got this..
  171. Good job sir.
  172. That’s a huge improvement from last time.
  173. This is your education. Your future. You are here to learn and teachers are here to teach. If you are not getting the help you need to learn effectively, advocate for yourself. Don’t allow anyone to stand in the way of you and your dreams.
  174. Your focus is really strong. Keep it up.
  175. You should be proud of yourself.
  176. This is tough stuff.
  177. Great question. Thank you for asking.
  178. You’re working really hard. Great job!
  179. You can do it!
  180. Keep trying!
  181. I believe in you.
  182. Don’t give up, keep working.
  183. You can do this!
  184. That was excellent work!
  185. I love the way that you did….
  186. Keep on going! I know you know this!
  187. Awesome job!
  188. That was a great idea!
  189. What did you learn and modify? → cool
  190. You’re going in an exciting direction with that!
  191. Thanks for doing that.
  192. Just keep coming back. Today is just the start to an amazing future.
  193. You’re on a roll. Keep up the good work!
  194. This is a pretty challenging question, but I think you’re up to it.
  195. You worked hard on this. I know you can do your best.
  196. You can either fear what you do not know, or jump in and figure out what you’re made of.
  197. You’ve come a long way! Take a moment to celebrate your success 🙂
  198. I am behind you 100%
  199. You are bright, do not be afraid to explore your limitations.
  200. You are capable of success, so I expect no less..
  201. I am so proud of the progress you’ve made!
  202. You can do this!
  203. Work hard + persevere = success
  204. I see you digging into that story/article/book.
  205. Shoot for your personal best.
  206. You’ve worked hard on that assignment.
  207. Good guess… can anyone find the small mistake?
  208. If anyone can make you angry, you are the loser.
  209. I’m so proud of you!
  210. I don’t know. What’s good enough for you?
  211. Yes you can. I believe you can even if you don’t.
  212. My goals are to know you well & get you to college. You’re worth it.
Words of encouragement we hope will stick with students.
Words of encouragement we hope will stick with students.



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