Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Teacher Language

My favorite thing about teaching is knowing that I'm doing important work each and every day. 

I teach because I want to make the world a better place.

One of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to create a positive environment is the language we use. On day two of my Responsive Classroom training we spent a good portion of the day discussing the power of our words. Almost everyone in the class (myself included) started to realize they'd developed some bad language habits in dealing with students. To help myself remember some of the key questions and sentence frames we learned to make our language more positive and effective, I made these little signs.

You are welcome to use them. Clicking on any of these pictures will take you to the document.

The thing  discussed about reinforcing language that was the most challenging for us was to take out the mention of teacher approval or of student names. In other words, avoid phrases like, "I like the way Justin is sitting quietly." Instead, use phrases like, "I see lots of students sitting quietly so we can begin learning. The difference here is that in the first example, students are behaving to please the teacher. In the second example, students are behaving for the good of the group.

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  1. Interesting. I can see the value of taking out student names, but I bet that will be a hard habit to break.

  2. I totally need to print these and remind myself to use them. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ditto! I need print these too! Good reminders to try! Thanks for the resources!

  4. This is a good reminder. I learned a lot about using positive narration in the classroom and even sometimes throw out percentages: "It looks like 80% are prepared to start our next activity." It's fun to watch the other 20% figure it out and follow suit.

  5. OH! I love those posters! I cannot wait to share them with my buddies. :) Calling on specific students has never felt good, now I have something to replace it with. I've been interested in Responsive Classrooms, thanks for sharing about it.

  6. Thank you for sharing! These are great to include and use when trying to change your class and/or school culture.


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