For me, this came at a great time. Summer is winding down (boo!) and my mind is already taking me back to school. (I actually had my first Back to School nightmare the other night! Too soon!)
It is crazy how fast this summer has gone by but I am anxious and a little excited about this upcoming year!
So, as my thoughts turn to long days of inservice and trainings, learning new curriculum, packing lunches, and soon seeing my new set of students....I feel a wide range of emotions. And I am so glad to have the opportunity to set my purpose for this year and to have a hard copy of my beliefs.
I believe that really understanding the WHY behind what we do is important!
Being a teacher is tough. We work so hard for little pay. Days are long and sometimes the kids in our class can make those days feel even longer. But, you cannot deny the tremendous rewards we feel at the end of every school year as we've watched our kids grow and learn, take on challenges and overcome weaknesses. We can reflect back and know that we gave it our all. It's a great feeling!
So, here are my beliefs!
This pretty much sums it up for me.
Every child in my classroom CAN succeed.
I have to believe this. I think we all do. It is up to me to give that student exactly what he/she needs to be successful. (no pressure, right?!)
Instructions must be differentiated to meet each child's needs.
I am a big believer in differentiation. I use it daily in my classroom but still feel I have room for improvement. Having this as one of my core beliefs will pose as a great reminder.
Parent involvement and cooperation with the teacher is KEY to student success.
Learning begins at home and a parent is a child's first teacher. If education is important to the parent then I believe it carries on to the child. An involved parent can make a HUGE impact on their child's success. Maybe cooperation wasn't the BEST word I could choose but when a parent is supportive (yes, I should've said supportive!) of the teacher, it definitely benefits everyone involved. And it goes both ways, the parent and teacher should work as a team to help the child.
Set the bar high, provide support & encouragement and children will meet and exceed expectations.
I am a firm believer of setting high expectations for my students. I constantly want to challenge them and pull out all they've got while they are in my classroom. I know that a class comes to you with different learning styles, family backgrounds, social skills etc...but I strive to provide them with the support they need so they can meet those expectations. And many students surpass them! Makes my teacher heart happy!
I cannot and will not give up on any child.
It is a personal mission and a professional responsibility to keep believing in my students. Enough said.
Every child needs to feel safe in my care and know they are loved.
I strive to nurture and love my students. I believe they must feel safe, loved and respected to be their best.
Every child needs a voice and choice in their learning.
I love to offer choices in my classroom. All.The.Time. Choices on how to complete an assignment goes along with my belief in differentiation. I do not assign workstations in my classroom. I have a system I have used for 10 years where the students choose their stations and it has worked great for me. I feel that there is so much a student doesn't have control over in their life but I do want them to feel ownership in their learning. That is huge for me. If you have ever read my posts on Project-Based Learning, you already know this. :) You can read about my PBL experiences HERE and HERE!
As technology advances, we are preparing our students for a future that we know nothing about. Teaching 21st Century Skills are a must!!
It's exciting yet, terrifying, to think of our world in 20 years. What will life be like for our students entering the job force after college? There is no telling what the future holds. I remember my principal sharing her belief in this in a faculty meeting a couple years ago. We have no idea what jobs will be around. Our kids are quickly swept into this technological world as soon as they hold their first smartphone and already can do things that adults have no clue how to do. It's amazing. So, I believe the students in our classrooms today will be the ones creating these technologically-driven careers of the future. How do WE prepare them for that? For the unknown? I think teaching the 21st century skills are our best bet! They need to be able to use critical thinking to collaborate, create, and communicate! Looking for some cute 21st Century Skills posters? My friends and coworkers, Whitney from At Whit End and Whitney from With Love from Texas created some!
Get them HERE! They are even on sale!!
Thank you so much for reading about my Education Beliefs! So I challenge YOU. What is your WHY? What do YOU believe? I hope that those beliefs will help provide a compass for your actions this school year! For me, I know I will refer back to these when times get tough and even when I just need a reminder!
Please continue on to the next blogger to read all about what drives her...