The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Nobody Wants To Be “Nice”

There are certain words that I hear students say over and over and over again that simply drive me crazy. I usually try to ignore them, chalking it up to my own weird idiosyncrasies. But one word has been popping up in my classroom all the time now that we are passing the Golden Apple Award around every day.

That word is “nice.”

And it is one of those words that drives me crazy. I know I am guilty of using it from time to time, but I try really hard not to. “Nice” is just so boring! Nobody wants to be “nice.” “Nice” is what we say about someone when we can’t think of anything else to say. “Nice” is what we say when we don’t want to say anything mean but can’t really think of anything, well, nice. It is boring. Bland. Devoid of meaning, texture, subtlety, or contemplation.

I told my class today that I wanted them to stop calling people “nice” and think of other words to use: cheerful, friendly, courteous, kind, interesting, entertaining, engaging, pleasant, awesome, thoughtful, caring, empathetic, bright, a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary world. Anything but “nice”.

I think most of them got it. It will be interesting to see if they take it to heart and start being more creative in how they describe others, though! So tell me, what words would you use to describe someone without using “nice”?

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