Another teaching philosophy to which I adhere. It's especially pertinent now that my kids and I are creating our first argument.
Question: What are your goals for the year?
In Walden, Henry David Thoreau opines, "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." I am a master builder of dreams. And this year, this school year is where I will see these dreams realized:
- Integrate the arts purposefully and creatively. It helps that I'm participating in the ARTeacher Fellowship.
- Teach my kids how to read and respond objectively to each other's writing. I'm only one teacher. But if I can teach my kids how to read and respond ... oh my goodness ... just think about the potential writing environment we can create!
- Utilize UbD for every unit. I participated in a NWP Curriculum Development Collaborative, where Dr. Collet taught us teachers Higgins' Understanding by Design. It's a game changer in how I think about my teaching practices.
- Go deeper, even if it means losing out on other units. I don't want to rush the units simply because I want to accomplish more. Slowing down and spending time can be beneficial to learning, especially if my kids are engaged and motivated.
- Observe other effective teachers. Mr. Sayer, Ms. Sparks, Ms. Zaloudek, Ms. Girkin, Mr. Barnett, Mr. Peltier, and Ms. GoForth are just a few of the teachers our students are privileged to have. Plus, they're incredible educators.
- Service learning. There's a huge movement towards inquiry and project-based learning, which is fine and good. But my heart belongs in service. There's something heartwarming and meaningful when we devote our time on altruistic endeavors. Selflessness. Giving. Purpose. That's what I want my kids and I to learn this year through our CAPstone project.
- Write beside them. Thank you, Penny Kittle. I started writing beside my kids last year and it, too, was a game changer. I'm continuing with it this year and it has already changed how I teach reading, thinking, and writing.
Big goals this year, but as Thoreau asserts, they're reachable as long as I build a solid foundation. And I am, laying the bricks one day at a time.