The Reflection Pool

“We” not “I”

Photo Credit: Martin Gommel via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Martin Gommel via Compfight cc

Language is powerful. People hear and listen to what educators say. When a principal or vice principal says “my schools”, what message is inferred? When a teacher says “my students”, what message is implied?

Next time you are tempted to use “my” or “I”, try using “our” or “we”  instead. Do you see the difference? The second means that we’re all working together. We all take responsibility. We value all voices.

Here are some examples:

I talked to the family, and I decided to implement a plan for the student that I will monitor.

Change to:  We talked to the family, and we decided to implement a plan for the student that we will monitor together.

My school is wonderful! I love my staff and and my students.

Change to: Our school is wonderful! We are a cohesive and hardworking staff who cares for our students.

I hope you can see the power of this simple switch. I challenge you to make the change!


3 thoughts on ““We” not “I”

  1. I find this works well with all grades, but especially primary. A lot of times, just the security of knowing that “we” will work out an issue or problem is all they need to help them feel supported and engaged in a resolution or opportunity.

    1. Great point, Glenn! I was looking at it through the lens of dealing with parents and the public, but I agree that it is also important when working with students.

  2. That is a good challenge. Co-learning and collaboration are keys to a school, why not co-ownership too? I will take that challenge…or should that be we? Definitely going to need to work on this!

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