Morning Pages: “What do you, too, believe?”

For today’s Morning Pages prompt my awesome new group of CO301D students is addressing these questions. In solidarity, I am, too:

What are your core beliefs in regard to teaching and education? How do you anticipate that these ideals will guide your work with students when you have your own classroom?

Every year when I introduce students to my classes, I announce how many years I’ve been a teacher. This year’s total = THIRTY-ONE. Dang. That’s a long time.

I’d say my core belief that guides my teaching has remained mostly the same since 1987, though I’ve refined it over the years.

I believe in the value of every student and that they have something to share through the things they make/write/think/discuss that can shape the rest of the world. 

To unpack:

  • I want to help my students know that I really see them as students, yes, but also as individuals with lives beyond my classroom. EVERY SINGLE ONE of them–not just those with whom I most easily connect or who are comfortable making themselves explicitly known. All of us have these narratives looping through our brains every minute of our lives, and I’m still amazed by what happens when those narratives intersect in the classroom.
  • I want my students to recognize what I take as a given before they even walk in the door of my classroom: they are makers and writers and thinkers and discussants whether they know it or not. I feel lucky for the opportunity to support them in constructing knowledge and articulate it for themselves and the rest of us. It’s my privilege to learn alongside them in the process.
  • I believe my students have the power to have an impact on the world and to make it a more just and peaceful place. I’ve seen it happen every year for over three decades. My job is to help them in the process.

And I’m excited for the chance to do that again this semester. It’s going to be a good one.

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