Teaching Students how to Give Sincere Compliments

Have you ever witnessed the profound impact of a heartfelt compliment in your classroom? As educators, cultivating a culture of kindness through compliments can significantly enhance the learning environment. This is especially poignant as we approach National Compliment Day on January 24th, a perfect occasion to incorporate a lesson in positivity and recognition among students.

I want to introduce you to the EAR Method which I learned from the book “Find Something Nice to Say – The power of compliments by Debby Hoffman (affiliate link)

The EAR Method: A Tool for Positive Reinforcement

Exploring the Senses

Encourage your students to utilize their senses to discover unique compliments. It’s about noticing the details that are often overlooked. Did a student create a visually striking art piece? Or perhaps another has written a story that captures the imagination with vivid descriptions. These sensory experiences can be the basis for meaningful compliments.

Accentuating the Positive

In every interaction and every piece of work, there’s a silver lining. Teach your students to find that positive aspect. It could be the diligence a student shows in solving a math problem or the enthusiasm someone brings to a class discussion. Highlighting these positive traits reinforces their value in the classroom.

Reciting Their Worth

Recognizing the inherent worth of each student is fundamental. Compliments can be about character as much as achievements. Is there a student who always lends a helping hand or another who displays resilience in the face of challenges? These attributes deserve to be celebrated, and doing so can build self-esteem and a sense of community.


Practical Tips for Implementing the EAR Method

  • Start a compliment chain, where each student gives a compliment to another, highlighting different senses and positive attributes.
  • Create a compliment board in the classroom where students can post compliments for their peers.
  • Encourage students to keep a journal of compliments they receive and reflect on how it made them feel.
  • Use the poster as a daily reminder and inspire students to give at least one compliment per day.

The Ripple Effect of Kindness

By teaching students the art of giving and receiving compliments, we plant seeds of kindness that can grow into a garden of positive interactions. This National Compliment Day, let’s make every classroom a place where compliments are as natural as breathing, and watch as the culture of kindness envelops each student, empowering them to spread positivity within and beyond the classroom walls.