Challenge or Opportunity (the power of words)
22 January 2018
I went on a fabulous course organised by Laura Henry on SEND. The main speaker was Christina Gangemi. Her passion for special needs children shone, and we learnt through powerful story building to change the language we used from negative to positive. It empowered us to move forward with confidence to meet all children’s needs.
It got me thinking how important words are. I used the word “challenge” initially when asked what words I would use knowing a SEND child is coming to us, the word I used at the end of the day was “opportunity”. I don’t think I even intentionally used the word challenge negatively, but I always worry we’re not going to meet the child’s needs. The more I’ve thought about this word since, the more I’ve analysed it! I’m always saying things like it’s a challenge, I like a challenge, or are you up for the challenge? The word “opportunity” is more optimistic, gentler, oozing positive and light rather than maybe failing a challenge.
I have taken many opportunities in my life. I have nursed sick children, I own my own Pre-Schools, I’ve started my own Early Years Consultancy. They are my successes, and I love all the experiences past and present. Sometimes they have been challenging, but I think I’m going to use that word less, because there’s a kind of pass or fail that could be associated with it. Opportunities on the other hand are more inviting, more sunny and positive. Language is important, we should use it to our advantage.