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Noticing the good stuff

Author: Dawn Mitchell


Hello everyone!

We are less than three weeks away from our South Carolina ASCD Spring Conference featuring Cult of Pedagogy’s Jennifer Gonzalez and are looking forward to a day full of learning, teaching, and leading together.

Each week leading up to our conference, we have shared our favorite resources from Jenn’s Cult of Pedagogy website from which we have learned and applied into our own practice.  One of our best examples is her blog post, Noticing the Good Stuff. In this post, Jenn encourages us to focus on what is going well in our classrooms and in our schools and to intentionally highlight them in order to motivate our students and our staff.

As always, Jenn basis her recommendations for practice on solid research-based pedagogy.  In the post she provides this list of suggestions that we can each do for ourselves or try with a friend or colleague.

  • Describe a winning moment/event you observed in someone else’s classroom.

  • Describe a winning moment/event in your own classroom.

  • Be on the lookout for bright spots in your learning community.

  • Consider documenting them in a journal or through other means.

  • When dealing with a student behavior you find difficult, later consider asking: What have you seen the student do well?

  • When is the student most likely to set the difficult behaviors aside?

  • When something makes you laugh out loud when you are with students, write it down afterwards. What was it?

  • What was the source of the humor?When a student gives you a compliment, listen carefully.

  • Which compliments do you hear from students most often?

  • What do your students love about you?

  • When parents express gratitude, listen carefully. What are parents grateful for?

  • How have you served them and their children?

  • When colleagues ask for your advice or input, think about what allows them to trust and value your contribution.

Dr. Creighton Eddings, South Carolina ASCD board member and principal of Mount Holly Elementary School, writes, “It is easy to get caught up in the fast-paced nature of schools.  In doing so, we often hold on to the negative interactions or occurrences but fail to celebrate the positives. It is imperative that we develop an intentional practice to recognize and celebrate the positive things that we do each day.  Often the positives happen in an interaction with one other person or in a classroom where only a few get to experience it.  The blog offers practical tips to develop a practice of focusing on the great things we do each day.”

If you would like to hear Jennifer in person,  join us at our South Carolina ASCD Spring Conference on Thursday, March 5! Come network with fellow educators who learn, teach, and lead together in supporting the Whole Child.  Visit for conference registration.



Dawn Mitchell

South Carolina ASCD President



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