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Fill in the blanks:

If I didn’t have to ____________, then I ____________.

If my students were____________, then I ____________.

If my class size was____________, then I ____________.

If my salary was____________, then I ____________.

If I had more ____________, then I ____________.

If the parents ____________, then I _________.

If the standards ____________, then I _________.

If my room ____________, then I _________.

If my contract ____________, then I _________.

If the community ____________, then I _________.

If my colleagues ____________, then I _________.

If I had ____________, then I _________.

If the __________ teachers ____________, then I _________.

If my administrator ____________, then I _________.

If I could just remove ____________, then I _________.


Check yourself. How many of the if-then statements above we positive?  How many were negative?

Positive or negative answers to hypothetical statements don’t have much impact. But the way we frame our verbal and written language to our students, colleagues, families does have a huge impact.

I constantly am checking myself and my language. I make mistakes, but I work hard not to fall into the trap of ‘if-then’ negativity. And when I step into that trap, I feel the bite of its teeth. So I work to get out of it immediately.