afternoon pages: “What do you, too, believe?”

And we’re off! This marks the first Afternoon Pages entry for the Spring 19 section of CO301D where we read, write, and learning about the profession of teaching. We’ll start almost every class period this way, so if you’re reading this and you aren’t in our class, you’re going to get a firsthand view into what soon-to-be teachers are thinking. As a bonus, if you’re so inclined, you can follow along with our prompts for the semester here on our class website.

As I told the students on Tuesday, no one else in the profession can speak from their position at this moment in time, so as usual, I’m eager to hear what they have to say.

Today’s prompt is this:

In “The Careful Cultivation of Belief,” English teacher Sherri Medwin challenges readers to consider that the core beliefs that guide our work need “careful cultivation…, rich soil and ample space to extend to extend [their] young shoots,” and a “network of roots to sustain [them] through inclement weather.” 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?

One of my core beliefs, actually is embedded in the seemingly straightforward lines preceding this prompt, and that is that preservice teachers DO have something to say about the current state and the future direction of education; in fact, they are uniquely positioned to do so. They’ve most recently been in the classroom, they think they want to go back in a different role as teachers themselves, and we should all be curious about why that is the case.

Learning from them every semester is my privilege, and this one is no exception. If we can “listen someone’s way into existence,” as Mary Rose O’Reilley says, I’m eager to have that chance once again.

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