As educators, we’re expected to be a lot of things to a lot of people. We’re teachers, coaches, caretakers, custodians, and so much more. To our students, we don’t just tell them what they need to learn, we show them in the way we, ourselves, behave.
In the middle of a chaotic classroom or other stressful situation, it can be hard to find the kind of mindfulness and positive language we hope to model. Here are a few ways we can do that with just some small adjustments to our words.
Educators are caretakers—some of the best there can be. We want to help, and offering it is second nature. However, we have to be careful how we do it. Using closed-ended questions, or not asking at all before we jump right in, takes away a student’s chance to work through challenges on their own. A gentle reminder that you’re there to help, on the other hand, reinforces your support for the student while giving them the room, and perhaps confidence, to explore the many possible ways they can reach success on their own.