Nurturing Relationships: The Power of Words

I mentioned before that I am from a big, Brooklyn family. I have six siblings (love them all to pieces).  When I was young we didn’t have a car.  We had to walk with my mom to the grocery store. Yes, my mother would take seven children into a grocery store.  She would calmly push the cart up and down each aisle, scratching items off her list as we gathered what was needed.  When it was time, she would walk us to the checkout line where we knew to place everything neatly on the conveyor belt,  meats with meats, produce with produce, etc. etc. She’d pay for the groceries, and then came the most important part of the trip, deciding who would carry which bag or bags home.  See, it was a privilege to have the bag with the heavy cans or the fragile eggs and bread, and if you were assigned multiple bags, that was something special.  In the end, all seven of us felt like we were carrying something special.  She’d lead us home, swinging her free arms.

The very first time I had to leave my cart full of groceries at the store to tend to my screaming toddler, I realized that there was an art to what my mom did. It was the power of her words that made us feel good about what we were doing, despite the task.  The words my mom used before, during and after our trips to the store conveyed that we were some type of Supermarket Superstars. Grocery shopping became a fun adventure and  chance for us to shine.

Naming Students in Positive Ways encourages teachers to use envisioning language, the type of language that a responsive teacher uses to describe students in positive ways. When teachers use envisioning language with intention and conviction,  students see themselves in a positive light and  will choose behaviors that emulate that language.

I love this example below that uses the title CEO to describe a student’s role as a learner.






What are some of your favorite positive envisioning statements? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!


Have a wonderful week,

Dr. Joy




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