Power Words

October 3, 2019

Dear Families,

As an English teacher, I find words fascinating. They paint landscapes. Open doors. Close minds. Speak truth. Spread kindness and break hearts. Sometimes words speak volumes. Other times, words clutter the air like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

Words possess unspeakable power. All words.

Growing up, I looked forward to Saturday morning cartoons. Not because of the cartoons. I looked forward to the weekly episode of School House Rock. I felt sorry for The Bill, until of course he was signed into law. I found Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla a very proper noun.

But I sighed with sadness every time train tracks of Conjunction Junction made their way across the TV screen. I didn’t see And, But, and For getting me very far. Plus the tune, BORING. Yet, had I just taken a moment to contemplate the power of the words, I might have realized their potential impact.

The word yet. Three insignificant letters form a word packed with power. Traditionally, we use the word to create a connection between opposites.

I went to the store, yet I forgot to buy milk.

She finished her homework, yet she forgot to submit it.

I followed the directions for the cake, yet it still didn’t come out the way that I wanted.

Take a moment now to pause.


What if we turned this three letter conjunction into a Power Word. Never would I ever have considered this little word to be packed with so much potential. Not until the night of the Watch D.O.G.S. Pizza Kick-Off, at least.

As we wrapped up the cleaning of the cafetorium, I had the privilege of catching up with Rebecca Griffith, mom of some of our awesome SVA students. As we talked, she shared that in their house they embrace the Power Word, YET. As she explained their use of the word yet, I realized the impact this Power Word could have on so many of our students.

Consider this use of the Power Word-YET.

I don’t know my multiplication facts, yet.

I don’t understand the Pythagorean Theorem, yet.

I don’t know all of my sight words, yet.

I can’t explain the purpose of the Scientific Process, yet.

Imagine the transitional power of this word. When students speak words of self-doubt, simply adding the word yet can transform their thinking. It can provide hope where once discouragement lived. It can offer encouragement where once discouragement fueled the flame of anxiety.

I encourage you to consider weaving the Power Word, yet into the fabric of your conversations. Find ways to communicate the hope of time into the learning process. When your student says,

I can’t… or I don’t know how to… finish their sentence with the Power Word, yet. The Power Word yet is transforms into the conjunction yet. The sentence becomes…

I don’t know my multiplication facts, yet I will practice until I do.

I don’t understand the Pythagorean Theorem, yet soon I will apply it with ease.

I don’t know all of my sight words, yet the more I read them the more I will know them.

I can’t explain the purpose of the Scientific Process; yet one day, I will use it to complete a complicated experiment.

The Power Word becomes the conjunction that becomes the hope of time in the learning process.

Honored to Serve You All,

Janet Worley