Some encouraging words for students include "I can see you have worked hard on this assignment," "You are a quick learner" and "Your vocabulary has improved immensely." By noticing and thanking students for their efforts, progress and qualities, in addition to praising their achievements, teachers motivate them to continue improving.
"Good job," "Well done" and "Excellent work" are simple expressions teachers commonly use to praise the success of students, orally and in report cards. While such comments are important to convey approval, they do not necessarily work for those students who have not achieved expected outcomes. Teachers encourage more when they express their belief in the natural ability of students to reach their full potential, given time, opportunities and patient guidance. Inviting students to self-evaluate and contribute their input encourages and empowers them, making them feel valued. When words of encouragement build confidence, independence and self-esteem, in addition to academic skills, they have a more valuable and longer-lasting impact.
It is important to choose words and methods to fit specific situations and individual personalities while keeping a respectful, objective and uncritical approach. By highlighting students' positive and unique contributions more often than their errors, teachers create an overall atmosphere of encouragement for the entire classroom. For instance, a teacher can remark to a student who earns average grades but is always on time, "Your record of attendance and punctuality are impeccable." Giving out awards and certificates to acknowledge each student's contribution at the end of each term or school year also encourages participation and efforts.