"Be Careful"

A post by former Beansprouts teacher Julie.

Sometimes as teachers we find ourselves saying things to children out of habit, or because they are quick and easy responses, like "good job", "oh, really?", and "be careful".  Here are Julie's thoughts on "be careful"...

I have become conflicted by my using the phrase 'be careful' with the kids, and whenever I say it I realize almost immediately after the words come out of my mouth that they do not reflect what I want to convey. I know these words come from a place of concern about a situation where I can foresee an unpredictable outcome, but I also know that the words I use can be very powerful and so being clear is something I strive for when communicating with the kids. Upon reflection, I recognized I need to be specific and not vague. I do not want the kids to have to discover the hidden meaning in my adult words and 'be careful' is alot of nothing! What I need to say is"be aware of other kids around you" or "I want to let you know you are really close to the edge" or "when you kick your leg make sure you have enough space" or "look forward when you ride your bike!



If any of the following images make you want to say "be careful!", I wonder what else we could say instead?


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