Well, since then, we were all asked to do the same- come up with a list of our own personal beliefs about teaching and learning and post them outside our classrooms.
I think it's a great idea. Now everyone who walks down our hall can see every teacher's personal philosophies behind why they do what they do. And it's been really interesting to see other peoples' beliefs. It has made me wonder about my bloggy friends... what are your personal beliefs about teaching and learning? I know that I had never really thought before about why I do things how I do them. It's just how I do it! But it was extremely insightful to have to think about why Room 10 is the way it is. So, here are my beliefs about teaching and learning:
It feels good to work hard and do a good job. (And sometimes we do the right thing just because it's the right thing to do.)
Learning made fun is fun. (This is HUGE! Who doesn't want to make school more fun?!)
All kids can learn. (And, yes, ALL means ALL.)
Celebrating the success of others is important. (I never realized how much of this we do until I started thinking about my beliefs. Sometimes school feels so competitive- which isn't all bad- but I think it's equally important to teach our students to be proud of their peers too. One way I help do this is by my weekly awards I give out on Fridays, which you can read about HERE if you'd like! Anyway, celebrating others as part of character development is a biggie for me, so it had to be part of my beliefs set.)
Students can be accountable for their own learning. (ie. keeping graphs of their reading progress, math fact mastery, being asked to explain what they are learning, empowering them with choices via Daily Five and math workstations)
Parents are important in school success. (Thanks, parents! We love you!)
There is only one I did not add and it is one I feel very strongly about, but couldn't think of a way to say it that wouldn't be offensive. I teach in a district with a very high free-and-reduced-lunch rate, but I truly believe that poverty does not stand in the way of learning. I know that this can be a hot-button issue with some people and I get it that what happens at home is out of our control... but those 8-hours we have with those kids, IS in our control and I refuse to allow home situations to hinder my students' learning. Is there a way to re-word that so it sounds more positive?
I would love love love it if you would share some of your beliefs here too. It was really good for me to get them down on paper and spend some time actually thinking about the things I do in my classroom and what beliefs I have that lead me to do those things.
So, if you wouldn't mind, let's hear yours too! Why do you do the things that you do?