The power of “yet”

jk-keller-wax-and-yet-detail-1Have you ever thought about the power of the word yet? The connotation is amazing, especially in the arena of education and learning.

Think of how different the following pairs of statements are:

I don’t know.

I don’t know yet.

I haven’t been successful.

I haven’t been successful yet.

I haven’t worked very hard on that.

I haven’t worked very hard on that yet.

That one modifier at the end makes the difference between an idea sentenced to perpetuity, and an idea groaning with hope. As teachers, as educators, as leaders, we need to leverage this word to help people understand the promise of hope in the future and the possibilities.

There is certainly a big caveat in that it works with just as much dread when used as an inevitable decline:

I haven’t failed.

I haven’t failed yet.

We need to remember that yet is powerful and we need to teach our students how to use positively, as a weapon against loss of hope. After all, we live in the era of yet. Can your phone do _____? Not yet. How does that application work? It doesn’t do ______ yet. We look at technology as a waiting game where if we can imagine it, we need only be patient and assume it will come to be in time. Students see this dynamic in the only era they have ever lived, and will be responsive to it. Just as a phone or game or computer can’t do something yet, students need to understand that they will succeed over time, with a little effort, maturity and patience.

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