Replacing Praise with Encouragement (Like Jesus)

I went to a teacher workshop recently called Using Praise? Change Your Ways! It was about using praise vs. encouragement. I was really surprised by what I learned.

I think most teachers were trained to use praise to encourage behaviors. I don’t know how often I say things like, I like how Tom is sitting on the carpet. Or, I like how Isabelle is doing her work at the table quietly. Continue Reading

But it’s not how Sister Stefanie does it! Preparing Preschoolers for a Substitute Teacher

I am attending meetings in Erie, PA at Mount St. Benedict Monastery today and tomorrow to prepare for a gathering of the Benedictine Sisters under 55 (there’s a photo at the end of this post). I love this group of Benedictines and have been looking forward to helping get ready for the gathering. I know my students are not as happy. Continue Reading

Franklin’s Good Deed

Today one of my students was having a rough day. “Patrick” (not his real name) missed his mommy. He didn’t want to play with blocks or read. He didn’t want to play with the other kids. He was just having a crummy day.

Till he found my stuffed Franklin, that is! Franklin turned Patrick’s day around. Continue Reading

How to Keep a 4-Year-Old on Task

Carter (I’m not using his real name) had some behavior issues today, but overall he’s been improving since the start of the year. Together, he and I have worked on strategies to help him stay in control. (Email me at for the form that you see at the bottom of this post and I’ll send it to you!) Continue Reading