In October, I gave each class in our school this mission: change the world through words.
Over the last two weeks I have spent much time developing a website – www.wordschangeworlds.org – highlighting the many projects of our students. As I read their accounts, I was touched by their insight and compassion. I am hopeful that this concept is one they will remember and that they realize how empowering words can be!
Just as we model and discuss classroom expectations throughout the year, this concept too is one which deserves ongoing attention. Words can be incredibly hurtful when used carelessly, flippantly or maliciously. Just recently I was disheartened to hear the words spoken to one of our students by his own parents. He was devastated.
On the flip-side, words can be incredibly encouraging, inspiring and motivating. When I was supervising the other day, I was walking with a student who has separation anxiety from her mother. Another student said to her, “Good for you. You were brave today!” A humble, timid grin spread across the girl’s face.
Whether we realize it or not, the words we hear – especially during our formative years – shape us, contribute to our self-concept and affect our willingness to take risks.
This year, our students have discussed and explored ways that words change the world. Check out the website to view their projects!