500 Creative Classroom Techniques for Teachers and Trainers
se quotations to end the class on a high note.
In most courses, the instructor hands out certificates of attendance at the end. Instead of just
passing them out, try having participants give them to one another. But they cannot just thrust
the certificate in the hand of another participant—they have to give a little speech along with the
certificate. (I typically leave the “wrong” certificate at each person’s seat—the certificate does
not have that participant’s name on it, but rather someone else’s name. This is the participant to
whom she will deliver the certificate and the speech.)
Explain that the speech can and should be short, and tell them that you will make it easy for
them: You will provide a list of quotations that contain positive remarks. They are to choose the
one remark they think best describes the person to whom they will be delivering the certificate
of completion.
Note: Make certain you have more quotes than class attendees.
Examples of quotes and short speeches:
For a Nursing, Stress Management, or Psychology class:
“To array a man’s will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine.”
—Henry Ward Beecher, preacher and writer (1813–1887)
“John, when you told us about the nutrition classes you hold for cardiac patients, you showed us how to use
will against sickness. You are supreme.”
For an Environmental Science class:
“Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go
to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear
the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would
—John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838–1914)
“Maria, it’s clear that you have heard the trees speak, and you’ve made them speak to us. Thank you.”
For virtually any class:
“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.”
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet (1809–1892)
“Antonia, we’ve all acquired knowledge in this class, but it’s clear from the way you lead our group that you
came in with wisdom and you’re going out with even more wisdom.”
For a class in Science, Art, Reading, Time Management, or Writing:
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
—Hans Hofmann, painter (1880–1966)
“Takeesha, it’s necessary for me to say that you’re terrific!”

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