"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another."
Sign spotted in a high school classroom: "Don't ever use no double negatives."
3. Spirit Whisperer New Year's Resolutions [back
by Chick Moorman
In 2003, I resolve not to teach children to have a happy, productive
life, but rather to help them choose a happy, productive day.
I resolve to design lessons to help students appreciate that there is
no such thing as failure, only temporary results that can be used as feedback
to determine their next step.
I resolve to fix problems rather than fix blame by maintaining a solution-seeking
mindset and teaching students a problem-solving process.
I resolve to aid students in their struggle with autonomy by creating
a balance of power through a shared-control style of classroom management.
I resolve to remember that I want children to behave in ways that reflect
what THEY now find unacceptable, not in ways that I, the teacher, find
I resolve to welcome interpersonal skill errors as learning experiences
and as important opportunities to implement consequences.
I resolve to teach in a way that demonstrates that I believe the only
authority a child takes with her everywhere she goes is her inner-authority.
I resolve to allow my responses to students to reflect a knowing that
some lapses in self-control are developmentally appropriate. I remember
they do certain behaviors because they are 5 or 8 or 14 years old.
I resolve to aid children in their ability to make "BE" choices
as well as "DO" choices.
I resolve to teach in a way that reflects my belief that the process
is as important as the product.
I resolve to remember that I don’t have to punish a child for her anger.
She is already being punished for her anger.
When I am stumped and don’t know how to respond to a student, I promise
to ask myself, "What would love do now?" I also intend to listen
internally for an answer.
I resolve to recall that in any classroom situation I can choose to see
it differently. I remember that perception is always a choice.
I resolve to relax, remembering that relaxing does not mean resigning.
I resolve to make my approach to teaching reflect the notion that education
is more about drawing out what already exists in the student than it is
about putting in to fill perceived deficiencies.
I resolve to focus on the main purpose of education, the creation of
who and what I really am as a human being.
I resolve to remember that being right doesn’t work.
I resolve to teach as if I believe that a child’s I AM’S (I am athletic,
I am creative, etc.) are more important than his IQ.
I resolve to live today as if attitudes are more easily caught than taught.
I resolve to help students and myself stay conscious of the choices we
I resolve to remember the adage, "If you want a behavior, you have
to teach a behavior"and put it into practice in my classroom.
I resolve to teach for wisdom, which is knowledge applied. I will remember
that children are not in school to pass a test, earn a 9-week grade or
memorize a poem. They are in school to learn to apply knowledge to their
own individual lives.
I resolve to stay conscious of the fact that information doesn’t make
us happy. No one ever got a divorce, became abusive to self or others,
or began an addiction because she didn’t know the capitals of all 50 states.
I resolve to help students live in more uplifting ways, reflecting the
notion that school is more than a preparation for life. It is life.
I resolve to see the hurting child in the child that hurts.
I resolve to "be" the change I wish to see in education.
I resolve to avoid fighting the educational world that is and work to
bring forth the educational world that could be.
An inspirational way to begin the new year: "Spirit Whisperers: Teachers
Who Nourish a Child's Spirit," $24.95 plus $3.75 shipping and handling.
Orders go out the same day they are received. Call (toll-free) 877-360-1477.
4. Manage Your Subscription [back
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5. A Chance to Do Something Exciting [back
You still have seven days to join a select group of people who are working
to improve family life in their communities. Consider becoming a Parent
Talk System facilitator. Our three-day skill-based training will help
you assist parents to learn communication strategies that will build love
and trust within their families. You will help yourself as well as parents
learn practical, usable verbal strategies for raising responsible, caring,
Grand Rapids, MI
(Three slots still open.)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a full brochure
and registration materials. Direct inquiries to (toll-free) 877-360-1477.