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Creating a Culture that Acknowledges the Power of Words

by Carol Garboden Murray
January/February 2012
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/creating-a-culture-that-acknowledges-the-power-of-words/5020366/

The language used by adults in an early childhood setting is one of the most telling indicators of the values of a center. Each center has its own culture of language that consists of often heard phrases and scripts used when teaching and caring for young children. Listening closely to words, tones, and scripts — we tune into what is unseen, the auditory climate. Language is contagious. The good thing about the contagious quality of language is that when teachers can use language thoughtfully they can provide strong role models. The downside is that teachers often 'pick up' or overuse phrases they have 'caught.' Sometimes, upon examination, we may find that phrases we habitually use or overuse don't match our values or reflect the climate we intend to create.

With a little guidance and leadership, teachers can become more aware of their language and they can work to shape their language use in the classroom as they develop specific intentions about how it will influence children. As directors we can look for ways to build a practice of language reflection at our centers. We have the role of asking ourselves if the words we hear align with the mission and goals that ...

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