How to Show Your Appreciation for Students in the Classroom

It is important to show your students that you appreciate them, from the beginning of their educational career to the end.

For teachers, learning from your students is just as significant as teaching them. Students of all ages have their own unique perspective on the world and can teach you a lot about yourself and about life in general. Other times, students may go out of their way to be respectful and active participants in your classroom. Regardless, there are many times when a teacher wants to show his or her students how much he or she appreciates them. This show of appreciation can go a long way in terms of creating an academic community and building self-esteem in your pupils.

Compliment your students. Verbal praise is one of the simplest and most effective ways of showing appreciation. It is especially helpful to compliment students on their efforts, rather than the end results of their actions. For example, if a student volunteered an incorrect answer to a question, you might explain the correct answer and then praise him for his enthusiasm to participate.

Reward your students for no reason. You do not need to wait until there is a holiday or a special event to give your students gifts. Just bringing some candy or having a “movie day” is a great way to reward your students for doing a good job.

Take your time with your students. You can compliment and reward your pupils as much as you want, but if you seem consistently distracted when speaking with them or are in a rush to leave after class, your students may feel that they have done something wrong. Be mindful of your interactions by paying full attention when a student is speaking with you. Truly investing your time into your pupils will genuinely show them how much you care.

Get to know your students. While teachers must always be aware of maintaining boundaries between themselves and their students, taking the time to know your students individually shows them you value them as people. Asking about their interests and how they are feeling is validating. Knowing more about their personal goals and hobbies can also be a way to motivate your students in the classroom through tailoring lessons to their interests.

Make something for them, preferably by hand. When you take the time to craft something yourself as a gift, it shows that you are willing to invest effort to express your appreciation. Making a giant “Thank You” card or simply baking some cookies is a heartfelt way to surprise your students and show them that you appreciate them. Buying or making something that students mentioned might be helpful in the classroom is another useful way to show that you listen to their suggestions.

Erica Varlese began her communications career in 2005. She served as the assistant news editor and arts and leisure editor at "The Acorn," her campus newspaper, and has been published in "BUST Magazine," "Education and Outreach in Evolution" and "Monkey Puzzle Press Magazine." Varlese has a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and French from Drew University.