September 2017 Blog
TEACHING PROMISES, PRACTICES, AND A PLEDGE
Edward DeRoche, Director
Character Education Resource Center
As you start this new school year, here are 10 “promises” that you should internalize into your teaching, the management of your classroom, and most importantly, in your relationships with students. What is modeled is imitated!
- Behavior rewarded is behavior repeated—good and bad!
- There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.
- What we allow, we teach; what we accept, they will do. (M. Borba)
- The classroom is as much a social setting as it is an academic one.
- Character is about second chances but only if you learn from your mistakes.
- If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it. (M. Aurelius)
- Take the Pottery Barn oath: You break it , you own it.
- Negative attitudes drain, positive attitudes fuel. (M. Marshall)
- Relationships are to learning as location is to real estate. (J .Comer)
- The world is run by “C” students! (A. Maguire)
Make it 15 by adding your won 5 promises!
The question: What can we learn from the practices of effective, competent, and experienced teachers? Let’s take a look at a couple of reports.
Eric Jensen interviewed over 100 principals and asked them to list skills they look for when hiring a new teacher.
In no particular order, the following were listed:
- Good attitude – optimistic
- Resourceful – able to take care of their own problems
- Love of learning – projecting this to students
- Handle stress – being a resilient learner
- Ability to read emotions – detecting when students are apathetic
- Responsible – showing up every day, not blaming others
- A willingness to try something new or different
- Likes kids
- Willing to be a role model
- Loves learning and making a difference
Other considerations included: being a team member, enthusiasm, good sense of humor, flexibility, creativity, self-confidence, and a passion about teaching.
From Marvin Marshall’s Monthly Newsletter- Volume 10 Number 12,
December 2010 — http://www.MarvinMarshall.com
In an article in Principal, (May/June 2013, p. 56.) titled, “Four Steps to Close the Gap,” Gail Connelly, the NAESP Executive Director writes:
“Effective teachers do all three of the following. They are extremely good classroom managers. They know how to teach lessons that engage students, spark their eagerness to continue learning, and then lead them to the mastery of the subject matter. They have positive expectations for student success.” www.naesp.org
Annette Breaux is an internationally renowned author and speaker. She authored the national best seller 101 Answers for New Teachers and Their Mentors. Several years ago she wrote an article addressing the questions: Can anyone be a great teacher? What are the qualities great teachers have?
- In summary, she says that they truly love children; are masters at classroom management; possess a thorough understanding of their subject matter; understand that they are actors on a stage …capable of entertaining, capturing and enrapturing their audiences every day; are positive, kind, compassionate, patient people; don’t impose their moods on their students; have a sense of humor and share it daily with their students.
- She adds that great teachers recognize the importance of establishing positive relationships with their students, have high expectations of all students, and that they are not perfect teachers and when they make mistakes, they act as good role models do, admitting their mistakes, learning from these mistakes and offering apologies if necessary.
Annette Breaux, February 15, 2013
Now, as each of you begin a new school year take The Positive Teacher Pledge! Repeat after me!
- I pledge to be a positive teacher and positive influence on my fellow educators, students and school.
- I promise to be positively contagious and share more smiles, laughter, encouragement and joy with those around me.
- I vow to stay positive in the face of negativity.
- When I am surrounded by pessimism, I will choose optimism.
- When I feel fear, I will choose faith.
- When I want to hate, I will choose love.
- When I want to be bitter, I will choose to get better.
- When I experience a challenge, I will look for opportunity to learn and grow, and help others grow.
- When faced with adversity, I will find strength.
- When I experience a setback, I will be resilient.
- When I meet failure, I will move forward and create a future success.
- With vision, hope, and faith, I will never give up and will always find ways to make a difference.
- I believe my best days are ahead of me, not behind me.
- I believe I’m here for a reason and my purpose is greater than my challenges.
- I believe that being positive not only makes me better, it makes my students better.
- So today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact on my students, school and the world!
One of my Friday pleasures is to read Neville Billimoria’s email column call Soul Food Friday. Neville is Senior Vice President for Membership/Marketing and Chief Advocacy Officer at Mission Federal Credit Union. This “Pledge” is taken from the July 26, 2013 post of Soul Food Friday.