Words are tools. They can sharpen us, make us brighter, fulfill us, or unfortunately drill us down. We need to choose words wisely. You never know what effect they will have on others. My father always said “You can have 100 great interactions with someone, but one sour one can ruin everything.”
I’m so excited about starting the new school year - seeing new pictures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. As I head into school year 17-18 my goal is to conscientiously think about the power of the words that I use with my students, colleagues and friends. Positivity will always win out - sharpening others, building them up, making others better. That’s truly what education/life is about.
When speaking to others, both students and adults, the way we deliver our words are extremely important. What we may see as joking or sarcasm, others may not. We must keep our intent positive. Tone and cadence is something that we need to think about as well.
Words that dull us, drill us down, rough up our edges are tough, even as adults! But as adults we are able to forgive and move on, but our students are not always given this privilege or have the skill set to do so. These are the students that become chronically absent from school, cut classes, exhibit behavior problems, etc. often because of a word or comment that we didn’t think twice about.
Noticing small accomplishments, saying good morning, giving a fist bump or even knowing someone’s name can change a day for someone. Sending a note home, making a positive phone call, tweeting or sharing a picture can be a memory that a student (or adult) holds on for a lifetime. Additionally, “I’m sorry” is one of the most powerful tools for those times that we may have slipped.
My friend Allyson Apsey (@allysonapsey) and her staff at Quincy Elementary in Zeeland, Michigan even shared a blog (HERE) recently of various ways to greet students and staff as they head back to school! These "back to school" words are also powerful tools.
I wish everyone a great 2017-2018 school! May words fill you with cheer, joy, hope and happiness!
Let’s build a better us!