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My draft report comments are freakin’ DONE. I can’t promise coherency or even complete sentences, but there are WORDS for EVERY KID. Some even meet the character requirements.
Now believe me when I say I’m not trying to win any gold-star awards here, this is simply damage control for the weeks ahead for the up-coming music performances + concerts which obstruct my lovely clear pathway to holidays.
Current state: “Ha?! You speak-a the Engrish to me? I go over here to good drinking the nice wine!”, while my sorry-arse linguistic abilities recover from overuse.
“I no successful the Engrish speaking, one moment prease…”
(I can, I’m Asian. 😂)
I have been thinking a lot about nuances in language as a starting point for connection, as I’ve been reflecting on my role in caring for and mentoring my Year 11 Tutor Group.
Listening to a conversation between the incredible Brené Brown + Marie Forleo, and Brené said something to effect of:
Don’t ask someone who is in suffering to ‘call if they need anything’. They won’t call. It’s an empty sentiment designed to make us, the helper + supporter, feel better. Ask them instead: ‘What does support for you look like right now?’
And my heart did a backflip.
I realised that I had been asking my students to “call if they needed anything”. I had missed the opportunity for connection every time I said that. I needed to change my words, and therefore my intent, as the beginning point for connection.
The sheer power of language is unmistakeable.
“Let it flow! Let if flow! Can’t hold it back anymore!”
I love this.
This is the greatest!
My goodness, this unbelievably articulate card from a Sir Year 10 music renegade, with the bit that totally affects me:
“You are quirky but serious, strong but fair, and truthful yet compassionate and understanding. You have been a rock for me over the last semester particularly, and so supportive and nurturing. You are truly one of a kind. Also, you pull off outfits no one else could!”
What Year 10 sir writes like that, so authentically + articulately?!
I thanked him last night at Lessons + Carols for his beautifully written words and he said, “Well, they’re FAR more articulate on the page!” And then I remembered that he has a stutter. I’ve taught him for 3 years. He just has such good stuff to say that I don’t notice it until I think about it. Amazing.
I gave a keynote earlier this year on the power of language and intent in the classroom; the extraordinary thing is that I went completely off script. The essence of the presentation was the same, but I didn’t look at my notes. I was completely in my element and spoke fluently. This is amazing for me as English is my 2nd language, I have a lisp due to a permanent underbite, and a tendency to trip over my words or lapse into Hakga when I’m nervous.
I totally marvel at how my language keeps improving, how I am still learning, and how I can actually FEEL my written and speaking abilities continue to get better each year. I thank the teachers who encouraged me to read, to journal, to write, and to converse, even though I couldn’t practise in the conventional way with Mum + Dad at home. I thank the teachers who painstakingly checked my essays in place of my parents, and put up with the weirdest idiosyncrasies in my writing, and my totally misjudged phrases. I thank the teachers who encouraged me to public speak and debate, knowing that I might totally lose the thread in moment of nerves.
I marvel at how much I can actually say now, how articulately I can express myself. I love it! I love the melody of language; the nuances and the power of words. It really is true that words can cut or heal, that a slight change in wording and intent can change the momentum of an interaction.
One of the greatest joys and gifts of life HAS to be the freedom of thought, and to have the opportunity and words to express emotions, understandings, and ideas. It’s the essence of being human!
I read to my parents whether they wanted to hear me or not, I was so excited about reading. And when I learned to swear, so did they.
Learning English together, especially finding all the “linguistic problems” with it, was a real connecting point in our family. A lot of shameless laughing AT each other.
Absolutely terrible + completely awesome all at once!
Groan, one and all, it’s magnificent!