As I sit and review my notes for Unlock the Teacher‘s first professional development session for the 2011/2012 school year, I reflect and wonder, what
words can I provide that might inspire and instill hope for all the amazing teachable moments that will happen in the life of the teachers with whom I will be speaking to tomorrow. Teaching is SO much more than a job, I honestly believe it is a calling; an urge that a person feels to make a difference, and is played out in the classroom.
We often think about all the teachable moments that happen throughout the school year for our students, our future. However, I also think of the amazing teachable moments that occur for the individual teacher. I hope that at this time of year, the teacher is reflecting and writing a curriculum map for the school year that will be used as a master plan.
The teacher, who starts the school year, is often different from the one who finishes it. Hopefully, this is the case, as a true reflective practitioner will evolve throughout the year as his/her students will…keeping in mind no two students are alike, no school year should ever mirror another for a teacher.
In regards to a teacher’s master curriculum plan, this is just a tool that is utilized to create lessons full of discovery for each quarter, with one scaffolding on the next to ensure that students are maximizing their potential. However, this is just a plan, as all good teachers know, true
“teachable moments” sometimes just happen and must be capitalized on in the moment.
I have chosen the theme of “Teachers are Planters of Seeds” for tomorrow. I have had the pleasure of working with this staff on curriculum alignment and I am honored to be asked back into their building on their first day back to school before their eager students arrive next week.
I think as teachers, we have the awesome power to create new worlds in our students’ minds. We can take them to places they might not ever get an opportunity to experience, tell them and show them how to achieve the impossible dream OR we can crush the human spirit with one angry glance or snide comment.
Think about what kind of world we hope to have in the future and remember that it all begins with how we treat our children today, what opportunities we provide, what words of encouragement or defeat did we choose to utilize at the moment of chaos in the classroom. When we train our eyes to see the good and choose to use words to share the good, amazing things can happen!
Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte
If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live!
What kind of seeds are you getting ready to plant this school year?
May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things,