Today, at no cost to you, I present my first-ever list of Top 10 Phrases That Pay! (Use at your own risk. Not responsible for lost or decreased respect from your students. Side effects may include laughter behind your back, laughter in your face, rolled eyes, yawning, and threats of physical violence. If you experience any of these symptoms, welcome to the teaching profession, sucker.)
1. When a student says, "I don't know the answer."I say, "I understand. You don't know the answer. But if you did know the answer, what would you say?"
2. When a student says, "I don't know how to do it."I say, "You're not allowed to say that in my classroom. But you can say, 'I don't know how to do it ... yet.'"
3. When a student says, "Wish me luck."
I say, "I don't believe in luck. I believe in working hard and succeeding."
4. When a student asks, "What grade did you give me?"I say, "I have no idea. What grade did you earn?"
5. When a student says, "This is boring."I say, "This is practice. Practice sometimes feels repetitive. But think of this as practicing making free throws. The test is you standing at the free-throw line during the big game." (This, obviously, changes with the sports seasons or the student's preference. I might say, "But think of this as practicing your guitar in your bedroom. The test is you performing on stage at Lollapalooza.")
6. When a student says, "School is for fools."I say, "Oh yeah? Well, work's for jerks."
7. When a student says, "I'd rather go to work than do homework."I say, "Why do you want to work so bad? You'll be doing that for the rest of your life."
8. When a student says, "Sorry I'm late again."I say, "No big deal. Just do me a favor: Go home and ask your mom what would happen if she went in to work five minutes late every day."
9. When my softball players say, "We're going to lose tomorrow."I say, "If we win tomorrow's game, you can shave my head at Thursday's pep rally. On stage."
Well, some of these are more effective than others. But it's after 11, and I wanted to post something today.
Oh yeah, I realize that there are only nine, and I promised you 10 Phrases That Pay. Number 10 can be found in the comments.