How To Use Positive Teacher Language To Put Power In Your Words

How To Use Positive Teacher Language To Put Power In Your Words

Hi, Teachers!

I DID IT! I completed the Jen Jones Periscope challenge, and now I can say I have my FIRST scope under my belt! I was SO nervous at first, but now that it's done, I feel like I could do another scope without worrying about it. You can watch the replay below.

In my scope, I talked about using language effectively to help you build a more positive classroom environment. Adjusting your language is HARD and it takes a LOT of time! It's not something that will change over night. It will probably take months or years before you it feels natural to you, and certainly years before you feel like you've made significant changes. There's always something you can improve upon when it comes to language. I'm certainly not perfect! Remember that it takes time and be kind to yourself.

Since it takes so much thought and effort to change our natural speaking habits, I created a practice sheet to help my colleagues  practice this when I presented this information during a professional development session. I practiced the same way when I made the decision to improve my language. I'm sharing these practice sheets as a freebie with you. There are 4 pages. Click the picture below to download it.
I also included a sheet with the 3 Rs of language so you can write your favorite conversational stems. When I started changing my language, I did this, and I posted my favorite stems that I wanted to start using right on my teacher bulletin board. I looked at it a lot during my prep periods and planning time. Looking at it often was what helped me change. I added to it gradually over the course of months. By now I have no idea where that paper went. It has probably been thrown out--I don't need it anymore because I've successfully incorporated that vocabulary into my language.

Here are some of the phrases I wrote down on my chart when I started. I hope you find them useful!

Reinforcing Language: 
  • I can see that you...
  • I noticed that...
  • You really followed our class rule ___ when you...
  • You worked hard to...
Reminding Language:
  • Remind me how to...
  • Show me what you need to do right now.
  • How can you follow our class rule ___ when you...
  • How might you solve this problem?
Redirecting Language:
  • Stop ___. Show me ___.
  • It's time to listen.
  • Show me active listening.
There are millions of options! These are only some to get you started. Remember--it's OK if it doesn't feel natural at first. I promise it will eventually. I hope you enjoyed my scope! What are your favorite phrases to use? Which type of language do you want to practice using more often first?


  1. Big thanks from a pre-service teacher!

    1. You're welcome, Nina! I bet you will be great!! What grade(s) do you want to teach?