Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Word Choice - "Let"

I follow a teacher who often says in tweets, "I let my students...(fill in the blank)."
It rubs me wrong each time I see it.

"Let" = "Allow" = "Permit" ... just seems so... bossy, I guess.

So... I wondered what teachers could use instead. I tweeted out for help:

Here are the responses I received, and my reflections...
Mr. Wolski went the student route. This makes sense, and when I cannot say something without precise language that makes me sound like I'm the boss, I ask students what they'd say.

Megan and Lorie suggested, "I provide opportunities for..." or "I encourage students to..." Ah... these sound more like what I'd want to say. This offers choice, as Mr. Wolski was saying, and also just makes me feel more at ease. Does it mean I'm a pushover? Does it mean we don't learn anymore in class? No. It's a simple shift in words that makes a huge difference in demeanor.

I'll be moderating #HackLearning on Easter morning (April 16th) at 7:30 am C.S.T. with the following questions, because they are on my mind DAILY:
And the call to action, which is something I struggle with daily:
Please join us, so we can learn all learn from each other!

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