This Special Ed Teacher’s Daily Routine Is Changing Students’ Lives and Melting HeartsThe Autism Site
Chris Ulmer’s “Toast Tuesday” started as a once-a-week occurrence in his special education class at Mainspring Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.
Seeing its effects—happier, better behaved, and more motivated students—Ulmer made the practice of complimenting students face-to-face for 10 minutes a daily routine.
“Instead of focusing on deficits, I focus on talents,” he says. “Instead of talking about peace, love, and harmony, I display peace, love, and harmony. A child’s reality is shaped from early life experience. If they have a mean, jaded teacher they will think [of] the world as mean and jaded. But if a teacher displays love, harmony, and peace…THAT will become their norm.”
After spreading across the calendar, the compliments became contagious in the classroom, as the students started complimenting each other, too. And that’s not all; things like eye contact and communication skills experienced a hefty boost, too.
Watch the good feelings go viral in the video below. High five!