Always Say Never

If you are the sort of person that blurts “Never say never!” then what are you playing at?

Never is a word teachers need to use all the time.

In her deliciously fabulous book, If You Don’t Feed The Teachers They Eat The Students, Neila A. Connors (2000) suggests we say a whole bunch of ‘nevers’ (by the way, what a great title for a book and how true).

Connors reckons to teachers believe in ‘nevers’ and to empahsise this she capitalises the word to ram home the point:

  • NEVER say anything, or treat a person, in a hurtful or harmful manner.
  • NEVER demand someone do something you wouldn’t do yourself.
  • NEVER put down or humiliate a student or colleague.
  • NEVER forget why you are in the business of education.
  • NEVER stop learning and improving.
  • NEVER forget what it is like to be a student.
  • NEVER let a day go by without living, loving, learning and laughing.
  • NEVER forget the list of NEVERS.

All the above NEVERS apply to any school and the teachers within and for the most part that’s what many people do. It can however be easy to fall into the mousetraps of negative self-talk and catastrophic thinking. This leads into that  NEVER we must all live by…

NEVER give up.

There are other ‘good’ NEVERS we can add to the list such as…

  • NEVER let other people define who you are.
  • NEVER let your last mistake dictate your future mood.
  • NEVER wallow in self-pity.
  • NEVER forget to say “Than you!”
  • NEVER let go if your inner child – your class need to see this everyday.
  • NEVER shout at children.
  • NEVER let anyone quash your ambitions.

For any further advice about what NEVER to do then take it from Rick Astley:

He said it in a song so it must be true

Image from A List of Nevers.

Why does this matter?

It matters a lot because as Teri Johnson says in her book Overcoming The Nevers: by Gardening Your Life and Nurturing Seeds of Truth:

Accomplishing good Nevers brings us great satisfaction, joy, confidence, accolades, pride, excitement and strength.

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