Intent: The Teacher I Want to Be…

slide11

This post is part of “DigiLit Sunday,” hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. This week’s topic is INTENT

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”
Alfred Mercier

Photo by Tina Floersch, via unsplash.com
Photo by Tina Floersch, via unsplash.com

Love.
Passion.
Joy.

These words echoed throughout the rooms at the Sable Oaks Marriott in Portland on Saturday. Teachers from around New England and beyond gathered to learn from superstar educators Ralph Fletcher, Tom Newkirk, Vicki Vinton, Kathy Collins, Matt Glover, Jeff Anderson, and Katie Wood Ray, among others.

At the end of a panel discussion about a trip to the Italian school Reggio Emilia and the book which grew out of that trip, The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching, Kathy Collins invited us to complete this statement: The teacher I want to be…

Here is my response to Kathy’s appeal:

I want to be a teacher who grows passionate, joyful, independent learners. A teacher who, in the words of Thomas Dewey, gives students “something to do, not something to learn; and when the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results…”

I want to my students to be curious and observant.

I want them to be thoughtful readers who understand that reading is about more than answering questions about the main character and his problem. I want them to understand that when we read, we learn about ourselves, our lives, the lives of others, and the world around us.

I want to be a teacher who gives my students time to think and write about what they want to think and write about. I want to give them the time and tools they need to follow their thinking wherever it leads them.

I want my classroom to be a greenhouse where students thrive and see possibilities in themselves they hadn’t ever imagined.

I also want to be a teacher who can rise above the day-to-day frustrations that could distract me from this goal.

I want to be a teacher who doesn’t let demands and pressures of the inevitable changes in standards, assessments, etc., deter or sway me from this vision. In the words of Katie Wood Ray, I want to make myself  “as smart as I can be about my work so that I can articulate” my beliefs.

This vision is one I’ve strived to fulfill through all my years of teaching. Thank you to all the wise, passionate educators at NERA whose words helped me express these ideas. Thanks to them for also showing me how this vision can become a reality.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Intent: The Teacher I Want to Be…

  1. So eloquent, Catherine!

    I love these two especially!

    “I want them to be thoughtful readers who understand that reading is about more than answering questions about the main character and his problem. I want them to understand that when we read, we learn about ourselves, our lives, the lives of others, and the world around us.

    I want to be a teacher who gives my students time to think and write about what they want to think and write about. I want to give them the time and tools they need to follow their thinking wherever it leads them.”

    ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can I just say, you are awesome! This whole line of thinking could be my own. I wish we could teach together. I also wish I had been at this great conference. Thanks for connecting and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful conference. Perfectly suited for you and the teacher you are! It is so important that teachers like you are with people like Kathy Collins and Ralph Fletcher to keep being that teacher that with a garden nursery of readers and writers. One that you tend and reflect on daily. I am grateful to know you. You keep me growing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how your post cements your beliefs and where you want to be. It’s so powerful. It sounds like the conference was energizing for you.
    Thank you for sharing your learning with us.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s