As a student, I had a great deal of respect for those teachers who weren’t afraid to be themselves in front of their students. They taught with integrity, passion, clarity, and commitment. There was never a guessing game about who these teachers were or what they stood for. As a teacher, I aspire to be the very teacher I respected as a student, and I hold a deep respect for my colleagues who live by the aforementioned principles.
A few weeks before the school year begins, I give careful thought to the reasons I became a teacher in the first place. Completing the following exercises compels me to think about how my beliefs and values tie into my teaching practice.
Start with Your Core Beliefs
Writing my Core Beliefs down before my students enter my classroom, gives me the opportunity to think carefully about who I am and what I stand for. These are not to be confused with wishes. These beliefs are at the very essence of who I am as a person. Because I have an important role in my students’ lives, I want a clearly written Core Belief system that is interconnected to--beliefs that I will teach by.
Core Beliefs address two key questions every educator should ask him/herself:
- Is this me?
- Is this important?