professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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Words that matter

This was the status update of a friend of mine with a link to an article about Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK.  The phrase just struck me to the core.  There are words that matter.  Some are in books, some are in conversations we have with one another, and some, as my friend Paul Hankins, pointed out recently, are the words we use with ourselves (self talk).  And what about the words that matter in the classroom?  Here are a handful I think are essential.

respect 
permission
choice
together
intimate
support


All in one sentence:  I respect students enough to give them permission to make choices together with me in an intimate setting that supports learning.  This is a little harder to do in a course that is mostly online.  As I prepare assignments, I try hard to let students know that they can approach assignments and complete them in ways that are other than traditional.  Instead of an essay, I encourage them to use charts, art, apps, and more to convey the information in a way that makes sense to them.  I hope that by trying to provide choice, I can encourage them to do the same for their students. 

Pay it forward.
Tags: words
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