A while ago I was asked to write a single paragraph on what I believe as an educator. My most dominate response was annoyance. It seemed like a self-marketing ploy, or a test to see if my core values match the publication I was writing for. I was also secretly annoyed that I did not have a clear answer. I knew what I believed in, I just couldn’t actually put it into words.
Completely overthinking a single paragraph is kinda one of my gifts. Which may have been what I was doing. Fortunately I am also good at stealing ideas, so I was able to combine those two skills and took a page form Ron Shelton’s classic Bull Durham:
The movie is about baseball, but I am a teacher I can adapt and modify anything worth stealing:
I believe in the teacher, the student and learning, I believe in the small start of big things, and the teachable moment, I believe in rigor, connecting, and assessment, that the books of Rowling’s, Seuss, and Curtis change lives. I believe that learning to fail is more powerful than learning to win. I believe that there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing high stakes testing and merit pay. I believe in reading out loud, project based lessons and number two pencils, and in teaching children how to learn rather than what to study. I believe in long, slow, deep, conversations that last more than one period.
What do you believe?