One of my long ago friends' father is the world's nicest man. He uses phrases like "oh my gunnysacks" and others I never fully understood. What I recall most fondly about him was his honest appreciation for his wife. On more than one occassion, I had the opportunity to dine with his family, and without fail, my friend's father, after finishing the meal, would declare "Cathy, this was the best...you've ever made." No matter what the meal. Grilled cheese--the greatest. Peanut butter and jelly--the greatest.
It's too bad I'm not like that because my student teacher, who is already competent, and capable of becoming great, needs my regular affirmation. When I student taught, my cooperating teacher rarely praised a lesson, but I always knew he found my work acceptable. Once, after I asked him what he thought about a potential lesson, he only said, "I wouldn't do it that way, but you can try it." After I taught the lesson, he asked for a copy; but, he never said it was good.
The funny thing is, for as much as she wants to know if I approve of her teaching, I am wondering if I am providing her with the guidance and experience she needs.