Thursday, September 19, 2013

Teacher Wisdom.Self-Worth. Philosophy of Learning

Teacher Talk: A couple of ideas--

Some things are just good practice for transmitting messages and a sense of emotional and intellectual climate in the classroom. Over the years I have taught all grades, K - 8, with most of my energy spent as a reading teacher. I can say that some "extras" are needed to add-on in addition to the basics of academic acquisition of knowledge. This blog contains a couple of these ideas that I used as a side purpose, a type of affective filter in my classrooms.
During my years of teaching every year I would display the same poster on a bulletin board. The two statements found on the hand- written poster contained my philosophy about the reason for learning, which is to become an independent learner who will be able to think on your own. I knew I wanted to give my students something to take with them that conceptualized a deeper reason for taking their studies seriously. To come up with the exact words, precise and clear in statement, I spent several days mulling over the words that would say it well. These would contain what I believed the teacher-to-student objective should be, the bigger picture that frames the question, and the core importance of knowledge acquisition with personal initiative in learning. This same poster outlasted all my years of teaching. We discussed the statements the first day of school. I would use it as a reference throughout the year. By the time the year was out my students could tell me its content from memory. I hope it has been internalized by some.

It is my job to teach you to think.

 It is your job to think for yourself.

The words say it all to my way of thinking. Adults would often comment on its words when they came into my room and would wonder who I was quoting. "It is my philosophy for teaching" was my response.
Another concept I formulated was a series of self-image statements to teach individual worth to my students. I believe some students never feel valued or appreciated for who they are or for their unique qualities. Someone needs to emphasize the importance of children knowing the personal value of their part in the world. These were posted in a set. You are welcome to copy them for your own use with a credit notation. They are original with me.

     A   R E C I P E   for  L I F E

1. You have been given many gifts
    These are your talents and abilities.
    Work hard to make them useful.
    Develop them. Nurture them.
    Increase in value.

2. You have been given a gift
     And that gift is your mind.
     Use it well. 
     Develop it. Nurture it.
     Increase in knowledge.

3.  You have been given a gift
     And that gift is your personality.
     Use it to enrich your life.
     Develop it. Nurture it.
     Increase in satisfaction.

4.  Take the gifts you have been given
     Mix them liberally with common sense,
          kindness, virtue, and wisdom.
     Allow time for them to grow.
     Increase in integrity.
5.  Share your gifts with others
     Use them well.
     Develop them. Nurture them.
     And you will live a life that counts
          for the better good.
     This is called,"A life well-lived."

Now, ... do it ... and make me proud!
                                 Your teacher
                   BTW, ... I know YOU can!
#teacher #philosophy. #affective filter. #self-image #students

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