7 Things to Say When Students Win or Lose

TAME Teaching Hack Infographic

TAME Infographic Teaching Hack: 7 Things To Say When A Student Wins or Loses
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Teaching Hacks: 7 Things to Say When Students Win or Lose


  1. Encourage the effort, not the win. “Great job! I can see you put a lot of work into this.”
  2. Help them focus on variables they can influence. “What variables can you control in an academic competition?” Answer: your own preparation, attitude, focus and effort.
  3. Help students manage their expectations. “What’s at stake if you win? If you don’t? Why?”
  4. Set up short timed competitions in your club or classroom. “The best way to get better is to practice!”
  5. Treat competitions like experiments“What worked? What didn’t? What will you change next time?”
  6. Help them evolve to a higher form of positive attitude. “You did your best to plan, but the situation changed. How can we adapt and make the most of the situation?”
  7. Reassure your students you will respect them and their effort regardless of outcome. “Whether you win or lose, I know you’re a great student because I’ve seen how much you care—it shows in how hard you work.”

This list is an excerpt from an article about growth mindset, stereotype threat, and how teachers can help students succeed in academic competition: Compete Like A Scientist: How to Talk To Your Students About Winning and Losing.
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By Lindsey Carmichael, May 14, 2015.