#teachlikeyourself

For those of you who are regular readers of the blog, you know my struggle as of late as I question the Twitter education world and what seems like the million different messages from the million different books that keep telling teachers that to reach their students they have to teach like something other than what they are. Be this, be that, teach like this, teach like that. And it seems to catch on to the point that at times I receive tweets of encouragement to keep trying to be a pirate when I have just finish saying that is not me and I am not comfortable with the idea of dressing up and being silly (I have nothing against those who do or the whole TLAP movement, elements are just not for me). Even having to have that disclaimer for fear that not wanting to be someone other than myself for my students might be taken as a slight to those who are enthusiastic about this model of teaching, that is not my point. I started to feel lost in the noise but not wanting to miss out on great learning and then Gravity Goldberg tweeted out the #teachlikeyourself and talked about her upcoming book. Now right from the website you can find the points I have listed below

  • They know their core beliefs and are in touch with their “why.”
  • They align their teaching to their core beliefs.
  • They build strong relationships in the community.
  • They see teaching as something they can always get better at.
  • They take care of themselves.
  • They make brave decisions to do what’s right for their students.

as well as a fun video challenge that I am working up the nerve to do. I am going to address these points over the next week or so before the release of the book.  So without further delay.

  • They know their core beliefs and are in touch with their “why.”

Core beliefs have always been something that I think ends up sounding so fluffy when they are written out. It is like a mission statement and those always come across more statement than substance. But as I really look at it I am going to go with 3 key things that I could say are my core beliefs. First I believe it is my responsibility to Build Critical Thinkers. With the world around our students becoming increasingly more and more complicated and the ability to decipher truth from all the rest of the noise out there I think my first responsibility to my students is to help them become critical thinkers. We do this by looking at texts from other perspectives, articles that challenge our thinking and having discussions are sometimes difficult topics. Second I believe it is my responsibility to help my students Develop a Love of Literacy. I have spent a large amount of my time the last few years looking at as many ways as I can to help students develop a love of literacy, to develop as readers and writers because those skills will directly assist them in their ability to critically think, beyond that a great book is a nice way to relax. Finally, it is my responsibility to Honour the Unique Voice of Each of my Students. We don’t all learn the same way, we don’t all show that learning in the same way. Why then should we be teaching every student in the same way and evaluating them based on the same expectations? As a teacher who is constantly looking for ways to improve my instruction, I need to be open to the idea that I don’t have all the answers, that my student’s voices might (often do) lead us into new territory to be explored. I believe that I must not only be open to that but I need to be brave enough as an educator to admit that my students know more about how they learn best than I do. A teacher that teaches like themselves knows their core beliefs and their “why”. The why behind it all has always been and always will be my students. How can I provide them with the best I can and keep true to myself? That is what I hope to answer as I reflect on these points.

1 Comment

  1. Great post. Build critical thinkers, Develop a love of literacy, and Honor the unique voice of each of my students. Great values. Maybe not all students will get to “love” if they are starting at hate but this is a great set of goals for #teachlikeyourself!

    Like

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