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The Power of Words!

I have just finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles, like I do, to develop those habit stacking, habit building actions and practices. One notion, about halfway through the book, has really allowed me to shift my mindset. And what was it? It was merely changing one word in my vocabulary.


When we feel overwhelmed, in the thick of our work, especially in Term 2; with reports, parent teacher interviews, school creative arts initiatives and the like, we can often say to ourselves, “I HAVE to do this, I HAVE to do that!”


This language makes everything seem like a chore and not a joy or a privilege.


James Clear substitutes the words ‘have to’ with ‘get to’. I tried it and it really did shift my mindset to one of joy, privilege and dare I say excitement. There is a real difference in perspective when we say, “I have to do my class reports,” as opposed to “I get to share with the parents and carers their child’s learning journey through a report.”


Or, “I have to develop a personalised behaviour plan for this student,” to the more optimistic, “I get to develop a personalised behaviour plan for this child to ensure their success and growth.”


“I have to teach this class today,” … “I get to teach these students today.”


The use of the words ‘get to’ have also channelled me back more frequently to my WHY. My reasoning for becoming an educator oh so many years ago. Let us never lose sight of our purpose, our why. For me it has always been to bring quality education to all students, especially those in regional, rural, and remote communities.


I wonder whether this shift in language could work for you like it has me?


The difference that one word can make.


What we ‘get to’ do each and every day is a privilege and incredible work in shaping the future of this nation.