Our speech students need us to recognize their strengths.
When we write reports and write IEPs, we often focus on weaknesses or what our students need to still work on. There is actually evidence to support that we should not neglect to include strengths in our reports as well. “Providers are considered a guide or agent to the family, and their role is to assist them in identifying their own strengths and resources and help them realize their potential.” Braun et al., 2017.
When our speech and language students enter our rooms, we need them to feel safe and confident. The more secure they feel, the more willing they will be to take risks and challenges towards their goals. How do I do this? I like to help my students recognize that everyone is different, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and everyone has things that they need to work on. I also show them that we can all learn from each others’ strengths to help our weaknesses. I show them that I can barely draw. That is a weakness of mine. I show them that they can help me draw better by teaching me what they can draw. They love teaching me! I also have them explain to me their favorite video games and whatever their strengths are!
We also make a strengths chain. Every student writes one thing they are strong or good at one a piece of paper and we put it together to display in the speech room.
By displaying students’ strengths around the speech room, you can always remind them when things get tough during the year!
What else can you do?! You can use character traits and have your students pick which one would best describe them in a positive light! You can even make bracelets/bookmarks with that trait so your students can keep it with them at all times. It can remind them when they struggle in class or when doing their homework.
Check out my video below on the topic!