Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What Do You Say?

I look back through this blog and reflect on my years of teaching. Looking through, I discovered an early post about affirming children. It made me think about how I say things and what I say to children today. The way I talk with children has changed over the years. I try to do more listening and less talking. I encourage children to tell me their ideas rather than just tell them mine. 

Here are some affirmations that are in that previous post. I still use variations of these every week:
  • You used all the blocks to build your tower.
  • I can tell you are really thinking about this.
  • Your paper is covered with paint. Tell me what you did.
  • You worked together to finish that large floor puzzle.
  • Thank you for helping put away the dishes. We make a great team!
  • You are working hard to finish that.
  • We did it! Give someone a high five!
  • You came up with a great solution to that problem.

Here are some other words I use regularly with kids:
  • What do you think?
  • I never thought about that.
  • Really? Tell me more.
  • Good idea! Let's try it!

But more than the words I use, I need to use my ears. Children don't have many people who will truly listen to what they are saying. A few minutes of looking in a child's eyes and listening to his words (and what's behind the words) can build lasting friendship. And help a child know that his words are worth listening to.

And I often hear some great stories and some great ideas! 

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