Say “Yes.”

One of the text books for my ELA/Social Studies methods course is Seeing the Whole through Social Studies, by Tarry Lindquist. In chapter two, “Setting Up for Success”, I found five simple words that have had a lingering effect on my way of thinking about my future classroom. The author’s fifth grade students wrote a list of advice for their student teacher who was finishing their student teaching. One student’s advice was particularly meaningful as it speaks to what we as adults all too often forget when talking with kids: “Don’t be afraid to say, “Yes.”

It can be a scary word, for what ensues when we say “Yes” might beyond our expectations, out control. When we say “No,” we can predict the result: it limits the possibilities. But what happens when we leave the door of possibility open, when we give ‘permission’ to our kids? I have very few things in mind for what my future classroom might look like, but I know two things that will certainly be up on the walls in big bold letters: “WHY?” and “YES!”

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