Saturday, October 24, 2009

The things we say...

The things we say, especially those catch phrases we find ourselves saying again and again can be good indicators of the kind of classrooms we run. Are they positive places? Are they encouraging and rewarding? Do we take our students feelings seriously?

Here are some of the phrases we say are find ourselves repeating in our classroom:
  • "I don't want to loose my clips!" This comment is a humorous remark that means, "I need to use the ladies' room!" It is a reference to one student's reward program that allows her to wear pretty hair clips for asking for and using the restroom as needed. I think this remark reflects our attitude towards independence and personal responsibility, positive reinforcement and having a sense of humor.
  • "I feel like you're not listening to me!" This is a remark a student has on his communication device as part of his upset/because/you can help me by board sets. He says it periodically - and so do the rest of us - but only when we are not feeling heard. We don't say this one in jest, only we are mean it. This reflects our seriousness about making sure everyone feels heard and role models how to handle feeling angry and ignored.
  • "I'll give the berift of the doubter" This is a joking paraphrase of something a young relative of a staff member said when trying to say, "I'll give the benefit of the doubt". We often remind each other to extend the "Berift of the doubter". This shows our flexibility, acceptance of others and good humor.
What are some of the things you say in your room?

P.S. I love it when years later classroom catch phrase stick with me. I still can't heard a certain brand of timer beep without wanting to offer a former student, from many years ago his, "minutes" of earned free time for being safe and engaged . The word "sight" will always make me chuckle because of a young lady who thought it started with "sh" and ended with "it" no matter how many times it was on her spelling list. "Oh sight!", was what everyone in the classroom said that year when something went wrong. Before I was a teacher I spent some time as a 1:1 teacher aide and my student and I would sing "Up Up and Away On my Beautiful Balloon" when I turned the handle on the Hoyer Lift. Guess what song I still sing to this day?


  1. The name of my blog is Farmer John Cheese because of just such a thing. My daughter insisted she wanted some on her pasta. We finally figured out she meant parmesan cheese. We are incapable of calling that by it's real name anymore.

  2. That's what I always sing when lifting kids in the Hoyer!!! (the changing table and hoyer lift are in the bathroom in my room, so lots of times I get called to help with the hoyer)

    We had a student a few years ago who, if she didn't know how to respond when you asked her a question, would yell "Hot wings!". Whenever anyone says something random that makes no sense, my paras and I always ask "And do you want hot wings with that?" I'm not sure what that reflects, but it makes us laugh.

    My paras and I always say "I want potty" when we go to the bathroom, because that's what we try to teach the students to say. Sometimes when we have a substitute or visitor in the class and I look at my para and say "I want potty" then wait for them to say "Good asking, Mrs. Mays! You may go to the bathroom" the visitor looks at me like I've lost my mind. I guess this just reflects our commitment to modeling appropriate behavior?

    I know there are many more, but I can't think of anything else right now ...

  3. What a great post.

    I have a "Don't worry, be happy" attidude in the the classroom for the students. If things are going wrong it is the staff, not the students who should be stressed. The other one that goes with this is "happens". This is for when things happen that we have no control over and i often hear it repeated by the students.
    When a schedule change is affecting the students, I tell them to be like jello and be flexible.
    I often break into song i.e. "Follow the yellow brick road" to lighten up the mood in the class. When people come in they think it is quite odd but it a great way for me to diffuse a situation.
    My class motto is calm, cooperative, postive energy. This is great for when a student is being more difficult than usual because it is not me nagging .... it is the class motto and it is written on the wall so I can point to it. I have used it so often my non readers know what it says.
    In the morning, I try very hard not to tackle difficult subjects with the staff. When those students arrive on the bus we need to be positive as well so sometimes the staff get told to use the motto.
    I am sure that i have other ones but it is nice to reflect on the positive in the class and not the negative.


Comments and respectful discussion are welcome and encouraged! No advertisements or spamming.

Contact Me at:

Contact Me at:

Visit our advertisers:

Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation, LLC Try Nick Jr. Boost FREE for 7 Days ... Label the things you love !! Build-A-Bear HearthSong - Toys Outlet