My mom always says to me something her mom said to her:

“I hope you pick up only my good traits, and none of the bad.”

I find myself becoming more and more like my mom and dad every single day. I acknowledged the fact that I had become my mother several years ago. Only in the recent past have I come to terms that I have also become my dad as well. I have the same sense of humor (often we say the exact same pun at the exact same time, completely unrehearsed), I say the same catchphrases, I have the same laugh, and I have the same reactions. I picked up all of these traits simply by the example I saw before me every day.

Kids are incredibly perceptive, as Johnston explains in this chapter: “So the question is, what makes it possible for teachers to say the wonderful things they say genuinely, automatically, and consistently?” (77).

I liked what Johnston had to say about choosing how to view your students. By choosing to view them as independent thinkers, the teacher’s whole communication style changes. The students will pick up on that through both verbal and nonverbal language, and will respond accordingly. Johnston sums up the goal of the entire chapter in the words, “If we want to change our words, we need to change our views” (84).

I liked the last section the most, which had a lot of practical advice in it. I’m all for practical advice. What the chapter didn’t seem to touch on, however, is that no matter how much we try to change our views, it will not become second nature unless we make it a habit. Practicing consistency in our language and reactions is the key to making it become believable.