Friday, August 22, 2014

Personal Principles for a New School Year

It's time to go back to school! It's been a week of meetings and planning time, and I can't wait to begin teaching for my 6th year, 4th as a Theatre Educator.

At a professional development this week, I read an article this week from Language Magazine called "Scaffolding Success" an Interview with Aida Walqui that expressed this teacher's desire to have a creed, philosophy or personal principles which guide their teacher. Whether they are principles spelled out by other educators, ed philosophers or even yourself, to have a guidelines for yourself to "walk the walk WHILE talking the talk" is so important to practice and model for students. I particularly liked these quotes-

 "There is nothing more practical than good theory" and "Theories help us describe and understand what we do, they can help us establish solid principles and practices and they give us a sense of strength, focus and direction. In accomplished teaching, theory and practice are inseparable."

While we spend time as educators studying theory and discussing it, how often do we consciously practice good theory, in its essence? Do we model to our students the type of people we'd like them to become or do we too often allow the stress that comes with the job overwhelm the way we present ourselves to our students (who are always watching us, by the way!)?

I've had these two signs up in my office the last year, and I've carried the framed one around with me since I first started teaching, thanks to my mom, just as little decorative pieces that would maybe catch my eye once in a blue moon and inspire me to change my attitude. But this year, I would really like to practice these theories, even if they are not deeply academic or even based in best educational practice. But I like the picture of the teacher that these paint, and I'd like to see myself as this teacher on a more regular basis.

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