“Mr. Grossman, remember yesterday when you said I was thinking like a scientist? That really made me feel good.”
One of my students made that comment to me this week after class, and it nearly brought tears to my eyes. The words I’d chosen to use made a real difference to one of my students.
Over the summer, I read Peter Johnston’s book, Choice Words. In it, he talks about the importance of everything we say. When we label students, they live up to those labels. When we call students scientists, they become scientists. While I “understood” his meaning, it wasn’t until this week that I really got it. EVERY WORD we say in our classrooms has the possibility to heal or to hurt, to lift up or to put down. Choose to deliberately lift up, encourage, and empower. What words will you use this week?