Increase Learning By Securing Students’ Hearts

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A simple yet powerful way to let students know they matter is by using what I call the 2-5-2 method on a daily basis:

  • Ask all teachers to greet each student by name as they enter the class, and then make a positive remark about several students in the first two minutes of class.
  • Commend at least five students in each class period for their contributions to the discussion.
  • Finally, reserve two minutes at the end of each class to reflect on what everyone learned that day.

As the inspiring late educator Rita Pierson said, “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”

Value your students. Demand they be the best they can be.

Show them that you are willing to be a champion for them.

You can read more about the ideas behind the 2-5-2 method in “Secure Their Hearts or You Don’t Have a Shot at Their Brains,” my column in the Huffington Post.

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  • Kastala Brown

    Hi, my name is Kastala Brown and I am majoring in elementary education at the University of South Alabama. I agree that it is important for teachers to let their students know that they care for them. If students feel that teachers care for them, they will open up and receive what the teachers are saying or teaching. I also agree that it is important that teachers show their students that they will be champions for them and teachers must demand the best from their students. Thanks for sharing.

  • Marja Blom

    Hi Angela I found your blog after seeing your inspirational and touching video “you matter” on karmatube. I also love your advise in the blog post. I realised this truth this week. As a small charity we run computer clubs for children and as we have an open day next week I asked them to make a poster on the computer and showing the people and funders how important we are to them. One boy came to me and said you are my home you are important and we were touched by the nice comments they made. All that for some personal attention, which is more important than anything. I wish you well in continuing to show the world the importance of positive attention and want to say “You matter”

  • juancver

    Hi Angela, my name is Juan and I am a co-funder of The Babylon Project, a Russian language school online. I will share you opinion because I think it is exactly what Russian studies need for being attractive. Russian language is hard to learn and, in my personal opinion, your method will make a huge difference for thousands of students that want to learn this beautiful language.
    Kind regards form Juan Vergara and http://www.babylon-project.com

  • Larry

    Hello Angela,
    My name is Larry and I’m a Masters of Secondary Education student at the University of South Alabama. I am new to education (bachelor’s degree in Biology); however, I certainly agree with your post. I can remember a few teachers who stood out during my elementary/high school days for showing such a value in their students. These teachers went above and beyond to make everyone feel special and welcome in their classroom. As an educator, I always want to strive to show my students how much I value them through simple, powerful gestures like your 2-5-2 method. Thank you so much for sharing this post!

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  • Sarah Richerson

    Hi Angela! My name is Sarah Richerson and I’m a student at the University of South Alabama. Your 2-5-2 method is a great idea! I will be teaching in about a year and I plan to implement this method. Teaching is as much about the relationships as it is about the content knowledge. As teachers, we have to show students that we care.

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