Staring up at me feeling vulnerable, waiting to hear what words were going to come out of my mouth. This was my experience as I conferred with sixth grade readers today. They showed me their thinking as readers through their notes and words, nervously awaiting my words. My words. Our words hold so much power to the little people we spend our days with.

I breathed a sigh of relief for myself and for the student staring up at me. I believe in conferring to build on strengths. I believe in building students up. I believe in compliments. And today I was in there to confer with students to compliment their thinking as readers.

As I opened my mouth and started to speak, “Thank you for sharing your thinking with me. I’d like to give you a big compliment.”, I could see the power of my words. Relief rushed over their faces and a smile formed on their lips. In that moment, they heard their strengths and felt proud.





7 thoughts on “Compliments

  1. Beautifully said! Love how you are thinking about the impact of our words. Conferences are the best way to make a student realize just how great they are!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a GREAT way to treat those around us. I’m going to try this in my library tomorrow!! And I love your first line – it really drew me in. Great slice!


  3. YES! In my high school creative writing classes, I always teach kids to use the same exact structure when they give each other feedback and criticism: Praise, Question, Polish. Always lead with what you like – then anything the writer will listen to after that will be absorbed so much easier. Glad to see affirmation in what I’m doing in others’ work, too!


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