Archive | September 2012

What are our intentions?

This I believe…

Teaching is a craft.

Teachers design lessons / units / classrooms.

Teachers teach students (not subjects).

I have different intentions for this approaching year. My first year of teaching, I was simply staying afloat. I took lessons, tests, units and anything else I could get my hands on from my colleagues and tried not to drown.

My second and third year, I taught to the tests. I designed units the wrong way. I wanted to be sure that my kids all left my room knowing that Steinbeck intended Lennie’s rabbits to symbolize freedom. I cared more about the content then my kids. I taught English, not kids.

And then a funny thing happened. I took a step back and really thought about why I loved teaching. Why was I having so much fun? And I realized it’s not because I love to teach To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s because I love to teach my kids.

This realization has led me to this year and my personal goals:

My Plan:

  • Quickwrite each day with poems and short mentor texts (Time)
  • Study Mentor Texts (Vision)
  • Set up writing experiences that truly matter (Choice)
  • Conference weekly with students about their process (Response).
  • Have students keep a Writer’s Notebook where they are encouraged to take risks in their writing (Challenge)
  • Give students 10 minutes each day for SSR (Time)
  • Gather a wide range of books for students to borrow (Choice)
  • Conference weekly with students to talk about their books (Expectations)
  • Calculate Reading Rates and set individual goals for improvement (Expectations)
  • Have students keep a Writer’s Notebook where they respond to their readings and set goals (Challenge)
  • Conduct Book Talks everyday (modeling)

What are your goals?

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