Today was my first time using DWS in the classroom. I found it extremely difficult to break the habit of praising kids! I want to encourage rather than praise, but it just seems that praising is second nature to me.
When first trying DWS in the classroom there’s much to think about––so don’t be too hard on yourself!
Remember Dr. Marshall’s advice: Implement now, perfect later!
Just do your best and as you go along keep reflecting on things you would like to improve or change. You’re already doing this! Step by step, you’ll start to move in the direction of your goals.
Don’t worry too much about the praise issue in these early days with DWS. If your intentions are to sincerely acknowledge your students (as opposed to intending to manipulate their behavior with praise,) then you won’t do any damage!
Years ago, when I first tried to move away from praise, the following article by Jan Hunt set my mind at ease. Perhaps it’ll do the same for you!