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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3 responses to “What are our intentions?”

  1. Heather Nelson says :

    Thanks for this post! I just finished my 11th year of teaching, and I feel like I am in about the place you are in your 4th year! 🙂 I recently read The Reading Zone by Nancie Atwell & am in the middle of Wondrous Words by Katie Wood Ray, which takes an inquiry approach to teaching in a writers workshop structure. I sense that maybe you are familiar with these amazing teacher artists, too. Thanks again, and I wish you well in your journey.

    • teachergirlblog says :

      Thanks for the comment! And the support. I love Nancie Atwell. In fact, I just added a quote of hers to a presentation I am doing this week — “For students of every ability and background, it’s the simple, miraculous act of reading a good book that turns them into readers, because even for the least experienced, most reluctant reader, it’s the one good book that changes everything. The job of adults who care about reading is to move heaven earth to put that book into a child’s hands.” If you haven’t yet checked out Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle, I strongly recommend it as well!

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