Avoid the “If-Then” Trap

We want students to be more than compliant, don’t we? In addition to doing the right things, we want them to do so for the right reasons. We want students to pick up trash to keep the room clean, to be kind to others because it makes them feel good, and to complete work on time to be responsible.

Yet one of the most prevalent language habits in schools is the “if-then” language of the promise of rewards or the threat of consequences. We accidentally send low-level moral reasoning for doing good when we rely on “if-then” language. So what should we say instead? 

In this article, published in June 2019 in Education Update, I offer some suggestions! Click on the link below to read the article.

Avoid the “If-Then” Trap

  • Mike Anderson
    Mike Anderson is an education consultant, award-winning teacher, and author of many books including What We Say and How We Say It MatterThe Well-Balanced Teacher, The First Six Weeks of School, The Research-Ready Classroom, and Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn. Learn more about Mike and his work or invite him to work with your school or district through his website: Connect with Mike on Twitter: @balancedteacher.

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    Mike Anderson
    Leading Great Learning
    Durham, NH
    Phone: +1 413.658.7907

    Leading Great Learning

    Mike Anderson is an energetic, experienced, and highly sought-after educational consultant who helps facilitate great learning in schools all over the United States and beyond. He has over twenty years of experience as a teacher, consultant, presenter, and developer and has authored many books and articles about great teaching and learning.