Criticism is something that will be done every single day of your life in some aspect. However when it comes to learning, the way we criticize can be harmful to someone's behavior and learning environment.
How many have test anxiety? How many start to feel anxious, or nervous when you get called into your bosses office, or parents office? I know I did. Until I begin to observe and learn students behavior patterns in a testing environment.
Criticism can be positive, it can be something we all enjoy... How? Well it is easy.
Allow the students to express themselves, by now, most everyone has a smart phone, computer, and are part of some type of social media. If you are someone that is responsible for teaching a student so they may be successful, if all you do is criticize poorly, not allowing them to express themselves, whether happy, sad, excited etc.... it will make them have a more difficult time learning the subjects.
Provide students with all the right tools to learn, the will thrive, they will create content of exceptional quality and creativity. Find out what they are interested in. Bring comedy, brain teasers, games, activites, music to learning.
Let them make mistakes, and instead of that big RED checkmark, no comments, and that letter percentage grade... Take the wrong answers, and have them find the right ones.... Have them research and bring new innovative ways to understand the area of struggle. Over 75% of students understand and know the material they have been taught. Just because they get an answer wrong, does not mean they did not know the answer.
A teacher might read this and say, well how do we grade the student. Well that is easy, you are the teacher. Yes, we need grades. I especially get really ecvitied when I have straight A's... Why doesn't others get excited. There are no rewards for excellence, it is just expected, or students are threatened of consequences for getting bad grades.
Just try this... The next time a new subject or test is about to occur. Try a different technique.
Students answer their test, turn it in. The teacher then grades the test, and returns it back to the students right away. Now allow each student to review their test. Answers that were not correct, the students now find them. They will research them, and find a new creative way to explain it to the entire class. This will give them multiple different opportunities to memorize the material. I guarantee that even students who don't like coming to school, will start. Make the tests fun, exciting, have the students explore.. We need to find other ways to get the answers. Make it into a poem, rap song, create a power point, photograph slide show. Let them express, and think outside the simple box of the text book.
It is fun and I have managed to keep everyone of my students to go from C's, D's, and failing (in my eyes a C or below is failing).... to A's.... How... By learning my students, finding what sparks their interests, creating a social media page just for us and discussions between the students and teachers and parents. Getting the parents involved in the students learning, can only make it fun for them as well. We always should be learning something new every day.