I recently heard someone talking about making a “compliment sandwich” when they teach. He went on to explain that he “sandwiched” one compliment between two “slices” of constructive criticism. It was his way of remembering the goal we all have of balancing those comments we offer our students. As I thought about his metaphor, I realized that I have far more success making a “Constructive Criticism Sandwich” with one constructive criticism carefully placed between two doses of reinforcing positive behaviors or compliments (with a healthy serving of encouragement). It might not be as glitzy as having special sauce or a sesame seed bun, but I think we can agree that the medicine of criticism – no matter how constructive – goes down much easier with a healthy dose of honey.
Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
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