An “I” message is a structured statement so designed to promote effective communication.  The proposed, basic, structure is:

When you (Behavior)

(consequence of the Behavior) happens

and I (feeling).

Click on this link to see an example provided by my course – AmericanHistoryX

Here are some “I” messages I have developed and the associated thoughts:

For my pupils during registration (a correction):

When you arrive to school late

You have less time to get yourself organised

I am concerned that you are not giving yourself the opportunity to be your best


Note: I believe that registration (15 minutes at the start of my school day) provides aa vital cushion between for the baggage of the outside  world to be put down and the mind set of a motivated learner to be found.  However I am not sure that the benefits would be clearly identified by those students most in need without a range of other negative impacts also forcing the acceptance of such a message.

For my students (a positive)

When I see you accepting constructive criticism

I know that the quality of your work will improve

I am happy that I play a part in your deeper understanding

For my students (positive)

When I see you asking thoughtful questions

I know this helps you developed a deeper understanding of the topic

I am more confident that you will perform well in the assessed tasks

This is an extra thought but as it is the school holidays one which I can actually test at home – the smile he gave seemed to indicate success.

For my four year old son (positive):

When you show good manners

People want to help you

And I am very proud that you are my son