What language corrupts and negatively impacts our organization?

Thriving organization have language that is healthy and rich. Schools and districts can have legacy language that inhibits transformation. Legacy language are the terms that get used in an organization that often have negative connotation (professional development, staff meeting) or contribute to the greater community believing that old ways are learning remain baked into the system. It can exist on the walls in the office, in policies and procedures, as their standard way to describe kids, on websites, and how they talk about grading. Buried in all schools is language that is friction on improving the system. It cements mental models. It creates a nostalgia culture, and it fails to breed collective efficacy. As a contrast, schools with careful use of language can begin to lubricate transformation. We see this in schools that focus on learning instead of teaching as well as schools that talk about learning spaces as opposed to classrooms. Each of these small language shifts can force educators and others to slow down and rethinking how learning happens.