Saturday, May 24, 2014

Freshen Your Commitment

As the end of the year approaches, many of us already have our minds on the upcoming school year!  Even though we have our mind in the game with finalizing grades, calling parents, conferencing with students, and tidying up our classrooms, our hearts are in the new year.  

~We think about everything we did this year, what worked, and what didn't.

~We think about the assignments and activities that our students loved, and   the ones they didn't love so much.

~We think about the new units we wish we would have covered but may not     have had time to prepare.

~We even think about how we can spice up our classroom decor for next year.

With all of this in mind, let's think more deeply about our commitment to teaching.  Let's create mission statements that describe us as teachers. Having a mission statement will refocus our teaching and clarify who we are with course development, unit creation, and daily plans.  While we often times create statements of purpose for the courses that we develop, frequently we forget to create these for ourselves.  These mission statements should incorporate our philosophy of teaching & pedagogy, typical daily activities, and what is most important to us in our content area (links are to my examples).  For example, my mission statement is:

I will facilitate learning, encourage creativity, 
and develop student-questioning through oral and written medium.

After you have that mission statement, create your own contract for teaching success!  Just a brief statement that describes why are you are recommitting yourself to your teaching.  It could look a little something like this:

I am writing this mission statement because I know how important it is to continually focus on developing myself as a teacher.  I believe that I am an effective teacher, but I also know that there are many distractions in teaching that can redirect my efforts.  I will commit myself to actively practicing my mission to _________(mission statement)___________.

It might be a little bit cheesy...okay a lot bit cheesy... but I think that actually taking the time to think about who we are as a teacher, or who we want to be, can really calibrate our teaching compasses.  Even better, post this somewhere that you will see it every day.  Maybe as a sticky note on your computer, on your desk, or even on the front of your lesson planning notebook.  Where ever you place it, make sure you read it daily and make sure you take measurable steps to making that mission statement a reality.  For more on writing your own contracts for personal success, see the post on Spark People!

So what are your mission statements?  Please comment below and you might win my SPARK Teacher Mentorship Program for free!  The program includes a Guided Booklet & 5 Podcasts focusing on Intention, Presentation, Communication, Engagement, & Collaboration!

In order to qualify for the free program, you must:
  1. Follow my blog/Subscribe to my posts using the icon on the right 
  2. Follow me on Twitter @mac_ker1
  3. Comment below with your own mission statement - make sure to leave your Twitter handle in the comment so I can contact the winner!

Good luck and thanks for reading!  If you like this post or found it helpful, please use one of the icons below to like or share!