What Not to Say to Students

Author and DC teacher Dan Brown (@DanBrownTeacher) wrote last week’s most popular ASCD SmartBrief story–a list of the top five things not to say to students, no matter how exhausted you are, as the school year winds down. Brown’s tips include:

  • don’t apologize for unstimulating curriculum; do what ever you can to sell it
  • it’s okay to say you don’t know, not okay to say you don’t know what you’re doing
  • don’t negatively compare students/the class to the performance of others

Read the full post for all five verboten phrases — and a lot more reader-submitted examples in the comments section.

Is there something you regret saying to students, or a phrase that you knowingly avoid?

Related: ASCD Author Jenny Edwards has written on selecting words that invite students to learn. We’ve collected some strategies from her recent conference presentations here and here.


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