Words of Encouragement for Students
You may be a parent, a teacher, or a homeschooling parent-teacher like me. It doesn't matter who you are, one of your main priorities is to motivate your student to learn.
I still remember my first piano teacher's favorite sayings, quotes, and words of encouragement. I can still hear his comforting voice, encouraging me to continue practicing when I was frustrated. I know that encouragement is a powerful motivational technique that will stay with your students and children forever and motivate them to learn.
Motivation is like bathing, we need it daily! (Paraphrased from Zig Ziglar)
Hopefully this article will be a breath of fresh air and a source of new ways to inspire your student!
16 Encouraging Statements for Students
In When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim Your Game, author Dr. Allen N. Mendler writes that:
Words of encouragement keep students connected and motivated.
— A. Mendler [source]
He writes that we should develop habits of sharing at least one encouraging statement each day to a student who is struggling. He provided a list of 16 such statements that I think are applicable for parents, teachers, coaches, and students. This list was designed to encourage positivity about academic work and progress.
Positive Things to Say to Students (and your kids)
In addition to the list of 16 statements, I want to add some of my own favorites. I've found it especially useful to practice using these when I teach at my homeschool co-op.
- Your thoughts and ideas are interesting and valuable.
- Your actions are powerful.
- Your ideas are worthwhile.
- I have faith in you/I have faith that you can do ____.
- I know you can handle it.
- I can tell that you learn every day.
- I want to know what you think.
- I’m excited to see what you do (today/tomorrow/on ___).
- I’m so glad you’re here.
- I am always happy to talk with you.
- You don’t have to like what someone is saying in order to respect them. (The Golden Rule)
- You are capable.
- You make a difference.
- You can control your emotions.
- You can change your mind/opinion.
- You can learn from your mistakes.
- You can ask for help.
- You are learning.
- You are growing.
- You are interesting.
- You are able to do work that matters.
- You make a difference in many people's lives.
- You are creative.
- Growing can be hard work.
- Someone else’s poor behavior is not an excuse for your own.
- Trust your instincts.
- Wow! How did you do that?
Related: Words of Encouragement for Kids
Quotes have powerful impacts!
Quotes and words of encouragement go hand in hand. Quotes allow us to learn from (often famous) people who have already succeeded or trail-blazed ahead of us. Memorizing quotes can be a great way for students to draw on inspiration and motivation themselves. This is my favorite list of motivational quotes for students.
You might also appreciate the science behind why inspirational quotes motivate us (Fast Company).
Quotes and words of encouragement stay with us
I can still remember the encouraging sayings my grandfather, youth leader, and mother said to me. I can hear my grandfather's voice like it was just yesterday saying, "Sarah, you make me smile..." And I remember the exact expression on my youth leader's face when he encouraged me to make an "attitude adjustment."
My mother was a constant source of positive encouragement. She would slip notes with motivational quotes, famous quotes, and Bible verses into our lunch bags. Her confidence from my early childhood is ever present in my life today.
The words of wisdom from many influential people in my life continue to give me confidence today. I still have moments of self-doubt when I hear my role model's voices. What do you say that will stay with your kids forever?
I make a point as a parent to add positive words to my children's days. If we want our kids to be kind people, we have to give them something to imitate. They are imitating us when we show kindness... and when we aren't.