YET is a very tiny word but it packs a powerful punch!!!!!  Imagine these two different sentences…..

“You can’t do that.”

“You can’t do that, YET.”

The two sentences have very different messages.  I’m reminded of when I was in a masters program at the university.  There were twelve of us in class and the professor asked us if we thought we were good readers.  Only six people raised their hands.  I was shocked that just six of the twelve students, who already had earned their bachelor degrees, thought of themselves as good readers.

The professor asked each of the six why they didn’t view themselves as good readers.  Without exception each said they had been in the bottom reading group in first or second grade.  Imagine how long each of them held that belief about themselves.

We in education have to consider the messages we are giving to our students.   When they say “I can’t do this” do we help them understand they just can’t do it YET?  Do we assure them they are capable and then give them tools to accomplish the task in front of them?

Our words matter more than we realize when we are dealing with students, and they can have long lasting effects.  There are two books I read and learned from about the words we use, Choice Words by Peter Johnston and The Power of Our Words by Paula Denton.

Think about this when you are dealing with students, and remember to let them know they just haven’t learned it YET…..