Thursday, April 05, 2012


   This morning I found a thought-provoking definition and history of the word "assertive", which may help me devise ways of  supporting this characteristic in my classroom. One definition says that being assertive is simply “stating or expressing positively”, as in “He asserted his innocence”. Certainly I want to stir up this spirit in my classrom – the capacity to show precisely who we are in a positive and purposeful manner. The definition doesn’t imply brashness or hostility, but simply suggests that people like my students and I should be able to cool-headedly display our true selves each moment in the classroom. What I found especially interesting is that the word “assertive” derives from the Latin word for “join”, suggesting that a person who is assertive – who demonstrates in a positive way who he or she is – is doing so in order to “join” more completely with the rest of the human family. When my students and I are assertive, we are stating in a self-assured manner that we do, indeed, belong – in the classroom and everywhere else. 

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