Staying positive – tips for school

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I was asked by UrAbility to do a blog using one of the themes from the Dyspraxia Ireland Adult Summit which I ran last month (link). The themes of the summit were self-advocacy, self-awareness self-confidence and in parallel with the tips in my article, My personal Experiences of Dyspraxia:management strategies and resources for all that contains solutions that are useful for all as well as some heartfelt advice for parents and teachers. In partnership with Dyspraxia Association of Ireland we identified these themes as most impactful but possibly the least addressed by strategies and UrAbility felt that parents, practitioners and young people reading their blogs would benefit from strategies to develop a positive mindset.

As a parent of a child who dyspraxia and has just done SATS (who has extra time for exams) and another who has dyspraxia and completed A-levels last year I have often felt frustrated and exasperated with our education systems.

During these times I have drawn from my experiences as a practitioner (see my company Diverse Learners), currently supporting university students who have dyspraxia through exams and dissertations, to help my children feel better about themselves and the situation.

This blog aims to provide a bank of phrases for families, teachers and other practitioners as a strategy for nurturing a positive mind-set towards any learning experience. Language is powerful tool this helps to facilitate positive responses highlighting the good things rather than focusing on the challenges. These are phrases myself and the team at Diverse Learners with learners every day and it does make a difference as many of our testimonials mention feeling more confident.

Reviewing the school day – phrases to foster for positive responses (parents and teachers)

  • What was the best thing about school today?
  • What did you enjoy most about today?
  • What tasks did you like doing today?
  • What were you most proud of today?

Tips for praising homework / school work  – phrases for reframing to build self esteem

  • I like the way you did XXXX
  • You tried hard doing XXXX, well done
  •  I’m proud of the way you kept trying that shows … resilience / determination / a can-do attitude and people / teachers / employees value that
  • I can see an improvement in your handwriting / focus,
  • That is a really original way to do XXXX

We have a collection of vlogs on our Youtube channel where my daughter Phoebe and I share our experiences on getting out in the morning on time, anxiety, exercise and exams as well as these vlogs on tips for tooth brushing, meal times and sleep routine

Thanks to Diverse Learners for writing such a useful blog, you can follow them on Facebook for more positivity, advice and fun or on Twitter for a Tip of the day #DLtips or Phoebe at @phoebs_diverse.