Teaching with Intention: Chapter 2

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Hi everyone! Welcome back to our book study on Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller.

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Chapter 2 is about beliefs and practices in the classroom. So I stopped and thought about what my beliefs are.

1. I believe that every student should feel safe and be able to take risks. I want every one of my kids to feel like they are in an environment where it is safe to be wrong. I don’t want my kids to feel like they can not ask questions or afraid to give a wrong answer. That’s how I felt when I went to school. As a result, I never participated in class and become very anxious when I was called on.

2. I believe that the students should be working collaboratively and talking with each other. Again, when I went to school we sat in rows and really were not allowed to talk. (Did I mention I went to Catholic school?)

3. I believe that all students’ opinions are important and are valued.

4. I believe that all lessons should be purposeful and engaging.

As I continued to read chapter 2, Debbie mentioned how the next step is to align our beliefs with our classroom practices.

So I stopped again and wondered whether my beliefs and practices match.
Do my kids feel safe and are they able to take risks?
Yes, I think so. I am constantly reminding my students that the most important thing to in class is to try their best. It is always ok to be wrong.

Do my kids work collaboratively and talk with each other?
Yes, my students are always working in groups or turning and talking with partners. It takes a long time to get this started in my class, especially when other grades do not necessarily work in small groups or in partners. Reflecting back, I know that I need to be more patient with my kids.

Do I value all opinions?
In reality…sometimes. There are times when I have an answer that I want but a student is not giving it to me. I have to remember that there are different answers and opinions and not just one wright answer.

Are my lessons engaging and purposeful?
I definitely know that not all of my lessons are always engaging. I try but sometimes as I am looking over the a lesson, I think “This is boring!” Sometimes I change it, but sometimes I am so tired that I don’t. It’s not that I want to bore the kids, but sometimes I just don’t know how to make something more engaging (especially some science and social studies concepts.)

Know I have to sit back and make sure that my beliefs match my practices. I start school next week, so I am planning to make a little checklist or cheat sheet with all of my beliefs. As I go through the day, I plan on making sure that my practices.

Debbie Miller suggests these questions to think about when thinking about what you believe about teaching and learning.
1. How do you go about teaching kids something new?
2. What principles guide you?
3. How do you know if kids are getting it?
4. What do you do when they don’t?

The author also suggests to reflect at the end of the day and write down what you’ve learned. After reflecting for about a month, then it is time to sit down and write your belief statements.

I know as the year goes on and I reflect, I will change and revise my belief statements and I can’t wait!

What are your beliefs and do your beliefs match with your practices? I’d love to know!

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I hope to see you next week for chapter 3 of Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller.


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