Just in case you haven't heard, Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard has gathered a great group of teacher bloggers to hold a book study with the title, Teaching with Intention. I am honored to be hosting Chapter Two with Latoya from Flying into First Grade and Amanda from The Primary Gal.
For this chapter, I will be asking two guiding questions that I would love to engage with you in!
The focus of chapter two is our teaching beliefs. Debbie describes her process of defining her six philosophies of teaching, and then goes on to describe how we can name our own after much reflection and discussion with colleagues.
Debbie Miller starts the chapter by recalling a visit she had to another classroom in early April one year. Her experience in the classroom allowed her to see that this teacher had a set vision for her students even before her teaching began in September.
This struck me because as Debbie says, "When we know what we want for our kids in March, April, and May, we can set about getting them there starting in September." How true! A teacher has to have some kid of road map for where the students must end, even if there are unexpected pit stops or turns that need to be made.
In chapter two, Debbie Miller lists her 6 classroom beliefs. She also notes that it took her almost a year to define these beliefs, which makes this guiding question more of a reflection tool and something to keep in your mind for your future teaching practice.
Out of Debbie's beliefs, this one related to me the most, and was my favorite:
"We cannot underestimate the power of our influence - what we choose to say and do in the classroom profoundly affects the ways children view their teacher, themselves, and each other."
While keeping in mind that it took Debbie a good amount of time to define her beliefs, I would like to try and define one for you as we are going along today! Although, it is one of my goals to develop my own list of beliefs within the next school year.
Here is my first chiseled out belief:
1. Learning will begin when students feel trusted, valued, and understand their environment to be one of a classroom family where mistakes can happen, and growth is expected.
It's important to know that Debbie writes that after she developed her six beliefs, she closely looked at everything she did in the classroom to analyze if her actions matched her beliefs. She writes that if she found herself saying she believed one thing, and actually did another in the classroom, she realized she needed to either change her practice, or tweek her belief to match her authentic teaching self.
I found Debbie's beliefs so inspiring and true to my teaching ideologies, that I printed them out on cards that I can post by my desk in my classroom. I find it helpful to remind myself from time to time what it is that I believe about teaching and to reflect on how it is that I can better myself as a teacher.
You can grab a FREE set of these cards HERE. I hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of chapter two!