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When I think of our most struggling and distracted students, I see how social pain and rejection often hijack their ability to be academically focused and successful. Optimal school performance requires positive emotional connections with those students that we want to prosper while feeling capable and competent.
When students and teachers feel this connection, we are all responding from the higher cortical regions of the brain, and our dopamine reward centers are activated by these feelings, these positive emotions. Our interactions with students are intimately connected with our own feelings and agendas. When our efforts in the classroom meet with frustration and opposition, we can inadvertently mimic our students' negative emotions.
File contains an archival version of an article originally available on Edutopia. Archived with permission. The author reserves all rights.
Desautels, Lori, "Incentivizing Your Class: The Engagement-Based Classroom Management Model" (2015). Scholarship and Professional Work – Education. 106.