key beliefs · teacher of writing

more on key beliefs + a big thanks!

Wow!  Thanks to those who have shared so far on their Key Beliefs when it comes to language arts.  If you’ve not viewed the comments — do so now!  Just click HERE. 

So back in January, I wrote a professional manifesto. (I posted it below.)  Click here to see a recent reflection on it. Upon reviewing it, I believe it is my key beliefs for teaching reading & writing.  I’m hung up on sending it in, though.  I’m not sure if it’s too long . . . or too short . . . or too general.

Thoughts?  Advice?  More ideas?

I BELIEVE IN . . .  

  1. Teaching Students. I became a teacher to influence the lives of adolescents, not to change the world through a subject. My instructional decisions are always based on students’ needs – not the demands of a subject.
  2. Embracing Imperfection. Whenever we learn new things, we aren’t perfect at first. One of the most important things I can do for student writers and readers is to support their approximations – even when they’re not perfect.
  3. Standards Based Lessons. Although students drive the approach to instruction, the Indiana State Standards drive the curriculum. These are the goals that we’re aiming to achieve. 
  4. Working Together. Being part of a team, working together for the greater good, is essential for successful teaching.
  5. Being a Reader and a Writer. If I expect students to be active readers and writers, then I must be one too. It is through the daily grind of writing and the daily thinking about literature that I can most effectively teach students.
  6. Connecting. As a teacher, I must first connect to students and learn about their interests and family life. Then I can connect content to their lives in meaningful ways by tailoring texts and projects to their “real worlds.” I strive to connect technology to our work as well. Facilitating student connections is also a crucial task so they can learn the essential skill of working together.
  7. Making it Real. I first help students see the importance of reading and writing to their lives today. It is then that I can help them see the importance of the subject to the world outside of school.
  8. Expecting Plenty. The more we expect of our students, the more they rise to the occasion. One of the reasons I love education is the chance for students to start fresh each year.
  9. Loving. Before students care to know about language arts, they must know I care about them. Developing a caring community is the basis of my approach to curriculum.
  10. Always Learning. Being a life long learner is a key to being a successful educator. When students know I’m learning and trying new ideas, they are more likely to want to learn too. It is through professional readings, conferences, and discussions that I am able to continue to grow as an educator.