Five Things I Believe
There's a post that routinely circles social media that says something like this...my brain has 52 tabs open, none of them are responding, and I have no idea where the music is coming from...not exactly, but close enough of what I can remember anyway. I totally feel that. At any given time there are at least that many tabs, or channels as I call them sometimes, running simultaneously through my head. As teachers, this is routine. We are the masters of multitasking and multithinking (if that's not a word, it should be.)
The tabs or channels running through my head are usually in the form of lists. Like most things in my teacher life, I have to have everything organized and in its place and to me, lists seem the most organized way to deal with constant mind clutter. So a list is how I'm organizing this first official blog post.
This blog's focus is on teaching and learning and sharing great ideas with other teachers. On my ABOUT ME page you can read my background and a few things that I truly believe. It sounds like a popular assignments that my students usually enjoy writing, the WHAT I BELIEVE essay. That's what serves as the inspiration for this post and to provide you with more info on exactly who Mrs. B. is and what kind of educator I am. I hope you decide to follow along with me and this blog to share great ideas!
Five Things I Believe As An Educator
1. I believe that the most important factor and predictor of academic success for students in your classroom is the existence and quality of your relationship with them. Students don't and won't want to learn from someone they do not think or believe cares about them. Positive, genuine relationships between teachers and students are the foundations upon which academic success is built.
2. I believe that kindness matters in the classroom, to your students, and their parents and for long after they leave your room. If you truly feel as a teacher you can help a student very little academically due to whatever the circumstances he or she is dealing with, always show kindness. Everything, we as teachers do, matters every single day and being kind is easy, free, and priceless to our students and parents we serve. If you are a parent, you can most likely relate. I've often thought that the most important thing to me as a parent was knowing that my kids were treated with kindness each day at school. They remember those teachers and always will. What a great example of humanity.
3. I believe that schools, teachers, and students are more than numbers, labels, and statistics and we must act like it. For too long, we have all been reduced to these categories. We are replaced with titles such as novice, not improving, critical gaps, TSI, and failing. We are grouped and subgrouped and counted once and some are counted two and even three times in a NASA-like formula that Sheldon Cooper would have trouble figuring out. It's not enough to say we are not defined by these labels or numbers - we must live and act accordingly and that means we are not consumed by it. We are human beings and so are our students. We all know the pressures of testing and getting results. But we also must take the time to be there for our students and not fail them as trusted adults when their need has nothing to do with a label or number or category or a score.
4. I believe the single best resource for your success as a teacher are your colleagues. It's not your degree, specialization, concentration, or any fancy dancy college or education program. It's not that Master's degree, 3-day writing retreat, that fast-as-lightning Microsoft Surface Pro, or even that awesome Google certification. Colleagues, especially those with years of experience, are a gold mine of wisdom and been-there-done-that advice. Even new teachers have great ideas to contribute or even just a shoulder to cry on once in a while. Remember Ben Franklin's advice? If not, see my ABOUT ME page and then work on building strong relationships of support with your colleagues, even if that's an online community or group.
5. I believe that your enthusiasm and motivation is reflected in your students. Students do not want to spend time with teachers who hate their jobs. If you show your students that you dislike your profession, they will learn to dislike learning, or at the very least, your class. Students deserve to feel, see, and hear teachers who want to be there with them. Your attitude about your job, directly contributes to or hinders that relationship building factor we discussed in #1. Do yourself and your students a favor...be the teacher that students can't wait to see everyday because they know you will show them excitement, kindness, consideration, and dedication.
So, there's my version of This I believe. What are some things that you believe as a teacher? Feel free to share some ideas!