A few weeks ago an article circulated Twitter, Facebook and the daily news I read. The title, 6 Words You Should Say Today, caught my eye and I read the article. It’s beautifully written and made me think immediately of the kindergarteners I teach. It was one of those articles that I kept coming back to, seeing so many connections with my daily teaching.
Our words are powerful. They create (or break down) our communities. They support (or discourage) our friends, the children we teach, our family and ourselves. Peter Johnston has written extensively about the power of language in our classrooms in Choice Words and Opening Minds and I have read and reread his books numerous times. They have shaped who I am as a teacher in many ways. I think a lot about the words I use in my daily teaching and am constantly reflecting on how I talk to my students.
After reading this article, I immediately started using the words they refer to. They are just perfect as we are creating our new community of learners in our classroom – as I am observing, kid watching and gently guiding us to becoming caring, kind, passionate learners who live and work together for 180 days. I’ve noticed such big smiles on my kiddos faces as I watch them busy at work and then say,
“I love to watch you do math.”
“I love to watch you make books.”
“I love to watch you play.”
“I love to watch you dance.”
“I love to watch you take care of each other.”
It’s so simple, yet so powerful. Six (plus) words that I am making sure I say all day long – because I do love to watch these young learners discovering what school, learning and life is all about. I want them to know how important they are. Important enough for me to slow down, observe, reflect and share with them how much I love what I do.