One of the most practical and powerful books I’ve ever read as a teacher that has directly affected my practice is The Power of Our Words by Paula Denton. In it, Denton describes, using specific examples, how what we say and the words we choose with students can transform our teaching and our classroom. It did for me.
This past week at ISTE 2010, the largest educational technology conference of its kind in the world, there was a lot of talk about a session (I’m not sure who ran it or what it was called. If you do, please tell me in the comments!) in which the leader did not let the participants use the word ‘but.’ For instance, you couldn’t say “I would love to use technology in my classroom BUT I don’t have enough resources.” you would have to say “I would love to use technology in my classroom AND I’m looking for grant opportunities to bring resources into my classroom.”
It’s amazing how changing that one little word can change your entire outlook on a situation.
So I challenge you: When you start to hear yourself say ‘but….,’ STOP. Think. Reword your statement to reflect a positive outlook.
photo courtesy of Dunechaser on Flickr