Just read this 2018 article in The Atlantic – Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children.
Mr. Rogers was something else. He was insightful, caring, intentional, thoughtful, and creative. I’m sure he was much more, but that’s what I took away from this article.
We could learn a lot from Mr. Rogers.
“He insisted that every word, whether spoken by a person or a puppet, be scrutinized closely …”
What if, in our classrooms, we had that same insistence regarding our choice of words?
Yes, a classroom is quite different from Mr. Rogers’ TV show. He had the luxury of a script he could study and edit, as well as writers who would help him perfect his words. We are often working in the moment, on the fly. That makes it harder, but not impossible!
We don’t have scripts and writers, but we do have plans and colleagues. We also have the opportunity to reflect and revise. What would our plans, lectures, mini-lessons, conferences, and conversations sound like if our minds, hearts, and language were a bit more “Freddish”?
They’d be pretty fantabulous, don’t you think? Let’s start a movement.
*According to the Atlantic article, Rogers’ team of writers coined the term “Freddish” as a way to describe Rogers’ on air language.