1 Word to Eliminate from Your Teaching Vocabulary: Just

Just stop saying it!Yep – that’s the word: “just.”

That little devil does so much damage to a kid’s math-esteem. His cousin is also a bad guy: “all you have to do is…”

It says to a kid, “It’s so easy, and… what? you can’t do it? GOSH!”

Get rid of it. Let your students charge you a quarter every time you say or write either one.

Say instead: “I find that doing this helps me…”

Or: “How would you feel about doing it this way…?”

If you find math easy, great. Give the kiddos a chance to work through the discovery process, too. And allow them to fail and struggle while supporting them. Just don’t say, “just.”

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5 Responses to 1 Word to Eliminate from Your Teaching Vocabulary: Just

  1. Biggest mistake I made in my first couple of years of teaching was trying to convince students that math was easy. I thought that if I told them enough times it was easy they’d believe me and automatically know how to do it.

    Apologies to all those students.

  2. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this post, Bon! I hate, hate, hate it when someone tells me “All you’ve gotta do is…” i “just” want to tell them – then why aren’t you doing it? right? 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder that we need to build up those around us and sometimes we inadvertently tear them down…

    • It is strange how our intent and what actually happens sometimes (often?) get wonky with one another.

      Thanks for the kind words, Gidget!

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