I have just finished reading Word Shift and have enjoyed every word of it. It is an authentic and realistic portrayal of what is happening at schools and how as teachers we have the tendency and ease to attach labels to our students and coworkers and then to sit back and expect people to perform according to our assumptions. It's a negative and unfair practice, which produces negativity and mistrust. Thank you for pointing this out in your book in such an honest and clear way. It got me to reflect and change my attitude by double thinking the words I choose to describe those I serve. The least I can do. Thank you again, keep your decent work!!!
~Panagiota Paraskeva, Greece
More resources or word choices from readers...
I'm ready for your suggestions and ideas! ~Joy
From the NYT: What to Do When You've Said the Wrong Thing...
Something to keep in mind...
The negative labels our students have now may actually become assets for them when they are older. Consider those "outspoken" students in our classes... they'll be able to use this trait for good when they share their ideas with the world!
Even More Resources...
Academics Vs. Behavior - Or are they the same? - Amanda Bradford
Describe What You See or Feel... - Shana Karnes
Don't Ask Kids "Why" When They're Upset - Meghan Walbert
How Microexpressions Can Make Moods Contagious
Verbal Abuse and Anxiety
What Common Educational Terms Need to Go? - ASCD
Resources from Word Shift
If the word is underlined, click for the link!
at-risk - Heather Shaw says it should be "at-promise" students - thanks to Victor Rios!
attention-seeking - try "connection-seeking" (Dr. Jody Carrington)
brainiac - Heather Shaw says "In addition, it may negatively impact those who never get the label."
busy - from Carla Meyrink
complaint - extra: complaint2
& bonus challenge --> complaint3
do now - (for warm-up work) try "get pumped" from Sam Mandeville
Donuts with Dads (or Muffins with Moms)
expect - try "believe" from Jenny O'Fee
extra credit 1
extra credit 2
FOMO - Try JOMO
guys - extra: guys2 or try "folks"
his / hers - try "theirs"
ineffective teachers - try "ineffective teaching" suggests LaToya Dixon
in the real world - from Eric Hayes
ladies and gentlemen - try "distinguished guests"
lady or man (in the blue shirt) - try "person" (in the blue shirt)
lazy - extra: lazy2
learning loss - try "unfinished learning"
let it go
men and women - try "everyone"
non-racist - extra: non-racist2
people with autism - I learned in the #LeadLAP chat about #WordShift that most adults with autism prefer to be called autistic. They'd like their identity first, because it is not a negative term.
reluctant - Try "selective," as FifthGrade4ever suggests.
substitute teacher - Try "guest teacher" or "relief teacher."
yell 2 - extra: yell 3
Does that make sense? Try "What questions have I created?" shared by Michele Ashton.
How are the children?
Who did you help today?
Instead of "What's wrong?" Try - "What's happening for you today?"
Instead of "Do you have any questions?" Try - "What are you wondering?"
Instead of "I'm proud of you," Try - "I admire..." or "I appreciate..."
From Edutopia, 8/12/2021.
Let's shift the person sharing - to the students!