Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Say Yes More

DSC_0092 Last week my husband and I visited my parents in southern Florida. While we were there, we went to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. As we started up the boardwalk I noticed the signs telling us all of the things that we could not do. I noticed how the list told us not to do this or that but there was nothing that said what we should do. How much more inviting it would have been to have a lot more yeses mentioned. Some I thought of were:

  • Yes, have fun!
  • Yes, look for different wildlife!
  • Yes, notice how wildlife interact with each other!
  • Yes, learn how to identify flora and fauna!
  • Yes, learn how conservation is important!
  • Yes, look at the beauty of nature!
  • Yes, share your love of nature with others!
  • Yes, take lots of photos!
  • Yes, enjoy yourself!
I understand that sometimes for legal reasons we need to post all the “no” things but maybe we should emphasize more of the “yes” things.

I see that many times in the classroom too and I don’t want my classroom to be filled with too many no things. My rules are written in a positive way rather than a negative way. Rather than saying “Don’t come unprepared to class,” I would say, “Be Prepared for class.” Rather than saying “No homework will be accepted late,” I would say, “Homework must be turned in on time in order to earn credit.” Instead of “No talking,” I would say, “Talking allowed for collaboration.”

There would be so many ways of turning negative statements into positive statements.

When I see all these negative signs telling me not to do something, I don’t feel very welcomed or encouraged. I don’t want my students to feel the same way when they walk in my classroom.

How do you handle the rules in your classroom? Do you state them with no or yes? Why? Please share.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

1 comment:

Amy said...

I thought this post was going to be a change in thought regarding your goal to "not commit to more than you can handle". But it was about rules. ;-) I think your YES sign would be a good addition to the park boardwalk. Happy New Year!