We must "make conscious decisions and take deliberate actions" to get us where we want to be.
Debbie shares her six beliefs that guide her teaching and explains how she spent over a year developing them. It is not as easy as it sounds to research, examine, reflect, and put your beliefs into words. After she developed her beliefs, the next step was to align them with her classroom practices. She examined every aspect of her day. Many times they do not align, and you will have some tough decisions to make. Walking the walk is not always easy, we must reflect on our decisions and actions to ensure they align with our beliefs. Debbie says, "We're the ones in the unique and wonderful position to know where our kids have been, where they are now, and where it makes the most sense to take them next."
Debbie asks her readers to begin the process of defining your beliefs and aligning your practices. I shared my vision for my classroom last week with Chapter 1, which you can find here.
Debbie gives four questions to think about.
1. How do you go about teaching kids something new?
2. What principles guide you?
3. How do you know if kids are getting it?
4. What do you do when they don't?
I had to write my teaching philosophy a few years ago for a course I was taking. One of my belief statements is, I believe learning best takes place in a safe and positive classroom environment where students feel secure, confident, respected, appreciated, and free to take risks. If you would like to read my full teaching philosophy, you can find it here. However, I need to go back through and make some updates. First of all, it is WAY too long, a full page in length. I want to make brief and to the point statements. I'm going to reflect on my beliefs and simplify my statements this year.
All of Debbie's belief statements could apply to me, but my favorite was, "Learning is maximized when the lessons I design are purposeful, interactive, and engaging, with real world applications." I am very passionate about providing engaging, hands-on, purposeful learning experiences.
Debbie recommends spending 15 minutes at the end of each day reflecting on what you learned and writing it down. Over the course of time, you will be able to review and begin writing your belief statements. She says to take your time, revise, rewrite, scratch out, and start over. Once you have your belief statements, memorize them, display them, let them guide your teaching.
Thanks for stopping by to get the scoop on chapter 2! Check back next week for chapter 3.