Course curriculum

  • 2

    Create a Positive Climate and Culture

    • Our Best Intentions

    • We Are the Ultimate Tone-Setters

    • Sarcasm: To Rip or Tear Flesh

    • Use Students' Preferred Names (and Pronounce Them Correctly!)

    • What About Terms of Endearment?

    • Naming a Group

    • Understanding Unconscious Bias

    • Emphasize Collaboration Over Competition

    • Time to Reflect: What Goals Might You Take On?

  • 3

    Support Positive Behavior

    • Our Best Intentions

    • A Few Key Ideas

    • A Little Bit of Front-Loading Goes a Long Way

    • Be Clear and Direct

    • Channel Your Inner Mary Poppins

    • Move Away from First Person Language When Redirecting

    • Avoid: "Did You Make a Good Choice?"

    • When to Address a Challenging Behavior Publicly

    • Tone Is Key! (Avoid the Tired TSA Agent Voice)

    • Elevate Moral Reasoning

    • To Err is Human - To Forgive (Ourselves) Divine

    • Time to Reflect: What Goals Might You Take On?

  • 4

    Boost Academic Engagement and Learning

    • Our Best Intentions

    • Promote Joyful Learning

    • Who Owns the Work?

    • Talk Less--So Students Can Talk More

    • Rethink Praise

    • Emphasize Six Intrinsic Motivators

    • Time to Reflect: What Goals Might You Take On?

  • 5

    Making a Change: How to Shift Language Patterns

    • Our Best Intentions--One Last Time!

    • Step 1: Set a Good Goal. Have a Meaningful Rationale.

    • Step 2: Plan Concrete and Practical Strategies.

    • Step 3: Practice. A Lot.

  • 6


    • A Few Finals Thoughts...

    • Some More Resources...

    • Before You Go, Help Me Improve this Course

Meet Your Instructor

Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson has been an educator for more than 25 years. A public school teacher for 15 years, he has also taught preschool, coached swim teams, and taught university graduate level classes. He now works as a consultant providing professional learning for teachers throughout the US and beyond. In 2004, Mike was awarded a national Milken Educator Award, and in 2005 he was a finalist for NH Teacher of the Year. In 2020, he was awarded the Outstanding Educational Leader Award by NHASCD for his work as a consultant. Mike has written eight books about great teaching and learning, including What We Say and How We Say It Matter, which hit best-seller status five months after its release. When not working, Mike can be found hanging with his family, tending his perennial gardens, and searching for new running routes around his home in Durham, NH.

Included in This Course

You’ll explore key ideas, learn practical strategies, and gain helpful resources to help you bring your language habits and patterns more in line with your best intentions and positive goals for students.

  • Understand how the language we use with students is so crucial to their academic and emotional engagement in school

  • Consider language habits and patterns in three main areas: culture & climate, positive behavior, and academic engagement

  • Explore many "instead of this--try this" examples to help you consider language shifts you might try

  • Learn a process for changing language habits--and set a goal for person growth

  • Gain access to a wide array of supportive resources--including articles, videos, podcasts, and more

  • When you finish the course, you can print a certificate showing 6 hours of professional learning.

  • You will have access to this course for a year, so you can go back in over and over again.