5 Terms or Phrases to Introduce to Students


Introduce these terms and phrases to students to help improve the culture and learning environment in your classroom.


Res Non Verba

This latin phrase literally means “deeds, not words.” Teach your students that it is their actions that ultimately speak for them. While words can be empty or hollow, the deeds that students complete on a daily basis are truly the measure of what matters most.


I first became aware of this term when the Boston Celtics adopted the philosophy as they worked toward an NBA Championship. The term loosely translates to “humanity toward others,” but also focuses on community. Help students realize that the whole community is more important than individual interests and wants, and help spread the message of humanity toward others.

The Power of Yet

When students say that they can’t do something, remind them that they are missing one word: YET. When students say that they can’t do something yet, they are embracing the idea of a growth mindset. They are saying that they can continue to persevere and learn, and will eventually be able to do it.

Win Win Negotiation

In most conflicts, there must be a winner and a loser. However, teach students the strategy of a Win-Win negotiation, and you will allow students to problem solve and feel as if both parties are leaving negotiation after considering the opposing viewpoint. Students can make concessions and negotiate to ensure that everyone leaves feeling like they have won.

Critical Friends

This term has been used in education circles for groups of teachers who engage in providing critical feedback to colleagues based on reflective practice. Introduce this term to students and allow them to work with a Critical Friends Group. Have students reflect upon learning, and provide critical feedback to each other in order to improve the learning process.


What other phrases or terms do you use to inspire and motivate students? Share at #4OCF on Twitter.

Rich (@RACzyz)

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